Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduces proposal to decriminalize sex work

BOSTON (WHDH) - Bay State Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley has introduced a proposal that would decriminalize sex work nationwide.

The proposed legislation aims to transform the U.S. criminal legal system and put an end to mass incarceration.

Under the People’s Justice Guarantee, jail prison and immigration detention populations would be reduced additionally, prostitution would be decriminalized making consensual sex work legal.

“Many people that are committing low-level offenses are living in poverty, so we are criminalizing poverty,” Pressley said. “It’s not the absence of justice, its just about restorative justice. a radical re-imagining and realigning of how we actually deliver justice and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, peaceable community.”

The proposed legislation has created some division among lawmakers.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the decriminalization of prostitution raises some concerns.

“My concern is that we protect the victims here and the victims here are the people being sold in slavery, sex slavery. basically and I want to make sure the decriminalization of prostitution across the board, I have concerns about that,” Walsh said. “I don’t want to see the victims of sex trafficking to be caught up in a bill of decriminalization and allow the people soliciting sex to get off scot-free.”

The People’s Justice Guarantee was submitted to the Judiciary Committee last month.

It is unclear when a vote might be held.

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