"Can you help with that instead of putting me in jail?": Participant insights on Baltimore city's specialized prostitution diversion program

Corey Shdaimah, Marie Bailey-Kloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article reports data from a primarily qualitative study of Baltimore City's Specialized Diversion Program (SPD), an alternative criminal justice response to prostitution grounded in problem-solving models of justice. Data were drawn from observations of interactions between participants and SPD staff and semistructured interviews with twenty-one SPD clients. These were supplemented with data on prostitution arrestees' demographics (N = 616) over a thirteen-month period and SPD eligibility, program uptake, and completion (N =431) over a nine-month period. All respondents exhibited a dire need for assistance with concerns such as severe mental health problems, health conditions, addiction, poverty, and limited educational and employment opportunities. They expressed the importance of compassionate and dignified service delivery and a sense of meaningful accomplishment upon completion, all of which support a problem-solving model. Despite the assistance they received and their strong support for the program, many still remained in situations that could undermine the achievements they attained in the SPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalJustice System Journal
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Diversion programs
  • Problem-solving justice
  • Prostitution policy
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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