Creating Community for Incarcerated Sex WorkersA chapter of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
Why is the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Behind Bars?
SWOP Behind Bars provides community support for incarcerated sex workers and connects incarcerated sex workers in US prisons and jails to the sex worker rights movement. A significant percentage of sex workers are people who are incarcerated for prostitution and prostitution-related crimes, and these individuals are disproportionately affected by laws that criminalize sex work, as well as stigma, violence, and their related challenges to reenter their communities. We work to support and build relationships with individuals most affected by these laws and provide incarcerated sex workers with information, linkages to individualized, comprehensive case management, and skills they need to become leaders and partners with the sex worker rights movement. We call attention to the violence, stigma, and discrimination that occur against sex workers that are perpetuated by the criminalization of prostitution. We provide a monthly newsletter, books, study materials, and sex worker pen pals for incarcerated sex workers. Upon release from jail or prison, we strive to help sex workers meet their basic needs, and we provide resources, networking, and linkages for successful reentry into their communities.
Author’s Note: Thank you SWOP Behind Bars (SBB) for your support of my 2003 senior study discussion on feminism, consensual sex work, forced prostitution during armed conflict and human trafficking. This segment is part of a larger body of work privately archived with Goddard College.read more
The data that is collected from this research will be used to help draft policy recommendation that promotes the health and safety of US sex workers by sex worker rights-led organizations. It will also help identify what barriers sex workers face in accessing services, protecting their sexual health and reporting violence.read more
It is “Re/Entry Awareness Month”! Did you know prostitution convictions cannot be expunged in Pennsylvania? At a time when most all other non-violent crimes are being erased from public record, prostitutes are forced into LEAD, Rescue Diversion, must accept a permanent sex crime conviction on their record.read more
Send A Newsletter Inside!
SWOP Behind Bars mailed its first newsletter to incarcerated women from 7 states in the United States. The names were submitted anonymously and we appreciate the support from the sex worker community as well as all the writers and journalists and academics that live among us and who have pledged support and offered further assistance!