LifeWorks Northwest set out to accomplish eight goals, including helping their clients secure safe housing, avoid arrest, and complete at least two-thirds of substance abuse and mental health treatment, where necessary. But according to a report (pdf) obtained by the Willamette Week via a public records request, the only goals the program was able to meet were getting their clients to attend at least two treatment meetings, maintaining their sobriety, and helping them formulate a safety plan. One of the tricky things about the program is its close connection to law enforcement, which makes some women hesitant to be a part of it, even when it’s mandated as part of their probation.
How closely should prostitution abatement programs work with law enforcement? Do you have any experience as a sex worker? What do you think should be done about prostitution in Oregon?
- Tanya (a pseudonym): Former prostitute and a graduate of the New Options for Women program
- Beth Glisczinski: Director of addiction services at LifeWorks Northwest
- Jeff Ruppel: Portland Police officer and one of four officers on the prostitution coordination team