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In the following assignment, it is my intention to produce a research report, examining women involved in street prostitution and how they end up entering the criminal justice system.

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Introduction

Introduction In the following assignment, it is my intention to produce a research report, examining women involved in street prostitution and how they end up entering the criminal justice system. Within the report I will look at three pieces of research, review their main findings, the type of research that was used, and look to identify where I believe further research is required. My reason for choosing women in the criminal justice system is that I have expressed an interest in the criminal justice setting and my elective module is in this area. Anything that I learn from undertaking this assignment will aid my understanding and increase my knowledge base when undertaking my second placement. Prostitution has been defined as: "Prostitution involves the exchange of sexual services, sometimes but by no means exclusively, sexual intercourse, for some kind of reward, money, drink, drugs, a meal or a bed for the night" (Shaw & Butler 1998) Another simple definition offered was, prostitution is: "The purchase and sale, involving cash payment of sex" This is the preferred definition of Glasgow's Street Working Women as stated in: Stewart, A (2000). Historical Background Throughout the UK and internationally, the issue of prostitution is seen as an ever-increasing problem. For the purpose of this assignment I will concentrate on the issue of prostitution within the United Kingdom. There has been a marked rise in the incidence of street prostitution since the 1980s and a growth in the proportion of intravenous drug users involved in street prostitution. In Glasgow, police estimate that around 1100 women are involved in street prostitution, mainly in the city centre. It is conventionally understood that the vast majority of prostitution in the city takes place 'outdoors' (around 90%) with a small 'indoor scene' (10%). Women involved in street prostitution are subjected to 'routine' violence and in the last 7 years, there have been unresolved murders and suspicious deaths, (Women's Support Project 2001). ...read more.

Middle

personal relationships with non-paying private partners and their interaction between their personal and 'working' life. It did not state discuss the issue of confidentiality anywhere in the research and can only lead you to believe that it was not covered (Watson, D 2002). It never stated whether or not there was any counselling or other service offered to these women after they had disclosed some very sensitive data. Were they just left after the research had been concluded? The Second Piece of Research I chose was Routes out of Prostitution Literature Review Routes out of Prostitution is an innovative Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) based in Glasgow, which works to prevent women being drawn into street prostitution, it also serves to assist women already involved to exit prostitution by accessing alternative options like safe housing, child care support, drug programmes, training and employment. It is a city-wide partnership, which has been funded for three years by the Scottish Executive. It has an impressive list of partners including Strathclyde Police, Greater Glasgow Health Board, Glasgow City Social Work Department, Turning Point Scotland and Base 75 to name a few. Given the controversial and intractable nature of prostitution as both an ethical issue and a policy problem, this study sought to chart the differences between its partners as well as the areas of common views and objectives. Routes out of prostitution looked at areas such as 'what's the problem?' and 'what's the solution?' this involved members of the Glasgow City Council Officer Working Group (OWG) and the SIP becoming involved in 'heated' and 'acrimonious' discussions regarding the meaning of the word 'prostitution' and whether they (OWG & SIP) should aim to eradicate prostitution altogether, or to try and help the women who wanted to 'exit' prostitution. Key Findings * There has been a marked rise in the incidence of street prostitution since the 1980s and a growth of the proportion of intravenous drug users involved in street prostitution * The formation of a Officer Working Group (OWG) ...read more.

Conclusion

It was made very clear from the start of this research that the writer took great care in discussing the issue of confidentiality with the women involved in the research. She explains that at each stage care was taken to ensure that the women would not feel coerced or compromised into participating and support was offered to the women who disclosed painful and/or traumatic experiences. Changes in Research Only this week prostitution has been highlighted on the news, with the proposal to introduce 'tolerance zones' in Glasgow. MSP Margo Macdonald launched a bill in parliament, stating that: "Tolerance zones will protect local residents and prostitutes alike". Edinburgh removed their tolerance zones 10 months ago and street workers believe that they have been placed in danger once again (Scotland Today 30/10/2002). Also since the introduction of 'Women Offenders: A Safer Way' in 1997 there has been the development and introduction of 'A Better Way' The report of the Ministerial Group on Women's Offending 2000. Gaps/Further Research One of the biggest things that was apparently missing from this research was there was no mention of women from 'black' or ethnic minority backgrounds. I looked at numerous pieces of work in relation to women offender's particularly street workers; the only figure that I could find was only 3% of the female population in Cornton Vale Prison is represented by black or ethnic minorities, (HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland 2001). One Area that could use further research was highlighted in the Herald newspaper this week; it has become a very worrying state that women are apparently being coerced into working in illegal saunas as prostitutes. Sauna owners are buying the women's debt they then 'work' to 'pay off' the debt, according to retired Chief Inspector Nannette Pollock " the wording that refers to these women is debt-bonded", (The Herald 1/11/02) One other area for further research could be the use of language used within the criminal justice system, terms like 'common prostitute' could and should be removed then maybe some of the stigmatisation that these women are subjected to would also be removed. 1 ...read more.

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