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This news comes a month after Albany legislators successfully repealed Penal Law Katz officially put this request in for Queens Acting Supreme Court Justice Toko Serita to dismiss up to cases in which outstanding warrants were issued against defendants charged with in relation to Penal Law Katz is requesting that these cases also be sealed to ensure that these defendants do not have criminal records in regard to these arrests. Katz was elected to succeed Richard Brown in the role he held for decades after he fell ill and died. The former borough president was pressured by progressives to take her platform farther in the direction of ending mass incarceration of black and brown New Yorkers.

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Her story is very similar to that of state Sen. Jessica Ramos, who represents the same area in Queens and is supporting a bill to decriminalize sex work at the state level. The courts view people arrested for prostitution as victims rather than criminals, but structurally, the report said, the courts still treat people selling sex as defendants.

Narrower bills have also been introduced in Maine and Massachusettsand Rhode Island is considering a proposal for a task force to study the issue.

The district attorney in Queens — home to nearly 2. The arrests also provide law enforcement with access to sex workers, which some argue is necessary for obtaining information to go after traffickers.

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Giovanna, who declined to give her real name because she is undocumented, told BuzzFeed News that she has been arrested twice when coming home late at night after dancing at a club, and that the arrests could affect her immigration status. Sex work has also been legal in some parts of Nevada sincebut that primarily applies to rural areas of the state, and advocates for decriminalization say the regulatory regime there fails to protect the most marginalized sex workers.

Submit it here. As part of that settlement, NYPD has changed arrest guidelines so that appearance and clothing can no longer be the sole factors cited for an arrest.

In new york, prostitution is a class b misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $

Got a confidential tip? The loitering charges are particularly problematic for this group, who say they are often targeted solely on the basis of their appearance or clothing. A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

Once the mandated sessions are complete, the charges are dismissed and the records are sealed. The office has the power to decline to prosecute people that the police arrest for specific crimes — similar to how former Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson declined to prosecute possession of small amounts of marijuana inpaving the way for the current legislative push to legalize marijuana statewide that has recently stalled.

Giovanna and Silvia Escobar on Roosevelt Avenue.

Proponents of the court say that within the context of the criminal justice system, the diversion programs are a good compromise to avoid incarceration for people accused of selling sex. In addition to the bill introduced by Ramos and others in Albany, lawmakers in Washington, DC, introduced a bill to fully decriminalize sex work in the district earlier in June. Contact Otillia Steadman at otillia.

Ramos told BuzzFeed News that she was personally harassed by the police under the loitering statute as a young woman. The intersection is often heavily policed for prostitution along Roosevelt Avenue.

Critics also say that the waiting period between an arrest and when the charges are dismissed makes it difficult to find alternative sources of income. She argues that the current model makes it more difficult for people to come forward about sex traffickers, and says that removing the threat of prosecution will provide better opportunities for collaboration. A recent study from the Yale Global Health Justice Partnership found that the diversion courts, called human trafficking intervention courts by the state, are not living up to their stated ambitions. Queens has already been at the forefront of addressing sex work as a crime.