Policy Development Officer
Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board
40 College Street, Toronto, ON
June 1st, 1993
This letter is to follow up our meeting on Tuesday, May 25th. I would like to thank you and the Chair, Susan Eng for dedicating some time to talk to us and for being so receptive. The following are just some thoughts which I would like to follow up. Please find enclosed a bunch of different stuff, including: The Maggie's response to the Junger/Whitehead Inquiry, the report for the Status of Women Committee, the speech made at the Network '93 (these reports are similar in content), our Bad Trick Sheet, the pilot for the SWAT Watch sheet (organized by the Sex Workers' Alliance of Toronto), information about Maggie's (and our latest fund-raiser), and a collection of miscellaneous articles and research.
First of all, here is some information on policing prostitution I have dug up so far.
I have attached some historical material on the costs and methods for policing prostitution from 1980 to 1988. This material covers the problems and costs of enforcing the soliciting law (s.195.1) and the police forces' actions to influence the writing of Bill C49. Chapter 4.2, vol. 2, of the Report of the Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution (1985) (See appendix 1.) outlines the problems with enforcing s195.1 following the Hutt, Whittler and Galjot decisions. Chapter three of Street Prostitution Assessing the impact of the law, Toronto (1989) (See appendix 2.) outlines how Bill C49 was implemented and enforced and the relative costs (p.55). Please also find enclosed a copy "The Highest Paying Customers: America's Cities and the Costs of Prostitution Control, Hastings Law Journal, April 1987.
I phoned Jeff Williams at Budget Information (police stats) (392-7184) and was referred to Finance and Administration (324-6274) who transferred me to Budgeting and Control. What I found out was that $1,960,000 was spent in salaries and fringe benefits for the prostitution unit of the Morality Squad (which spends a total of 7.9 million (1992)). The Juvenile Task Force was set up to police pimping (p.33, Street Prostitution) so this may figure in more costs. This does not include the support costs for undercover work such as additional cars, cab fare, marked money, etc. or the administration and processing costs incurred for assisting with sweeps and routine enforcement. These costs also do not include the budgets spent on prostitution by the major crimes units of individual divisions (in particular, 51, 52, 22 and 14) each year.
According to Enzo Di Matteo ("Sex Pot" NOW April 8-14. 1993 p.14.) there were 3,978 prostitution charges laid in 1991 and a total of 3,592 arrests including clients (1,964 males and 1,628 females). (See appendix 4.)
Court costs per arrest have not yet been obtained but we figure the average court proceedings for a communicating charge would consist of three remands for set dates etc. and a one hour trial if the pro pleads guilty.
We still don't have figures for the costs of legal counsel if a pro were to use Legal Aid, as many pros do.
Costs for keeping someone incarcerated for the year 1991/92 (collected in May, 1992) are as follows:
(These figures were from the Mr. Robinson at the Attorney General's office in North Bay.)
If an average incarceration time for a repeat prostitution offender is 60 days, the total cost at the West Detention Centre would be $6,422.40.
Your assistance in filling in some of these blanks would be appreciated, especially stats from the police department.
In the past, police associations and residents' groups were instrumental in the passing of Bill C49. Most recently, (May 6, 1992) the Ontario Police Chiefs' Association with residents' groups went to Ottawa to lobby Justice Minister, Kim Campbell to make communicating an indictable offense. Enforcing the bawdy house law or the communicating law requires the police to use expensive undercover strategies in order to lay charges. But these laws also give police the power to charge and convict on the slightest of evidence -- their word. It gives officers the opportunity to commit serious abuses of their position.
It seems that what boils down from our meeting is that Maggie's and the Police Services Board have certain mutual goals: to make the process for investigating police officers work, and gain the trust of victims of police misconduct in this process. Both our parties identified the lack of trust in the process for making complaints against police officers as a result of the realities documented by the Junger/Whitehead inquiry and the need for victim support services.
In the meeting we identified many of the things we will need in order to attain these goals. We will need:
If the police department is truly concerned with the exploitation of young people and other prostitutes, then it should recognize the value in assisting people in pressing charges and getting justice.
If the police department is concerned with increased street trade as a specific drug-related problem then we must examine the ways the healthcare system can support and assist people struggling with addictions. For instance, Maggie's is currently conducting a survey about strategies to reduce drug-related harm as well looking at any connections between drug use and prostitution.
A common picture for many pros this summer, as a result of the zero tolerance policy, pros who have never been the cause of a public complaint, who have never been a nuisance on the street, who perhaps have habits but have never been in trouble with the law as a result of those habits, are going to jail for three to six months. And, as a result of that some will lose their apartments, any other employment or employment opportunities they may have had, custody of their kids and so on.
This kind of massive destabilization of an individual's life does not help people maintain control over their own lives. It disempowers people and turns them into a responsibility of the state. The destabilization of a person's life through entrapment should be made a crime. To add injury to insult, prostitutes often have to put up with sexual harassment, physical and verbal abuse as part of the arrest process. And the realities documented in the Junger/Whitehead report rubs salt into these wounds.
For prostitutes, the answer is nothing short of decriminalization. And this sentiment is being echoed all over the world. In June 1986, the European Parliament adopted policies on the decriminalization of prostitution (See appendix 5). And please also find enclosed information on the prostitutes' rights organizations in Holland and Australia. (See appendices 6 & 7.)
If Maggie's is going to be able to develop victim support for prostitutes to go through with having dangerous men (including police officers) convicted, we need funding. Lots of it. The chair suggested Legal Aid as a possible source, skills development money might be another. We received $9,260 from the Ontario Women's Directorate to produce a legal primer for hookers -- understandable knowledge about prostitution-related laws and a person's rights during arrest procedures. This should be ready by the end of June. (Court advocacy would also cut down on the costs of failures to appear.) We applied for city of Toronto "Breaking the Cycle of Violence" money and received only $1,500 support money for our Bad Trick Sheet. These are only drops in the bucket. (See sample enclosed.)
Please find enclosed lots of information about Maggie's, (our Operations Manual, membership book, and educational materials. Please also find enclosed information on the policies of the Prostitutes' Safe Sex Project (see appendix 8) and of the Sex Workers' Alliance of Toronto (SWAT) (see appendix 9). As social service agency workers and as prostitutes' rights activists we at Maggie's and SWAT need the Toronto Police department to forget enforcing either the bawdy house laws or the communicating law.
SWAT is convinced that public opinion, even residents' groups, are in favour of alternatives to policing prostitution. The Sex Workers' Alliance of Toronto is prepared to be very vocal about entrapment and has started publishing and distributing SWAT Watch, a list of descriptions of morality officers and incidents of entrapment, to street workers. (See samples enclosed.)
Maggie's also supports the Anonymous Police Complaints Project. (See appendix 10.) Social service agencies are prepared to fight to change the way that police officers treat people who are visible on the street. When you start calculating the tax dollars being used to combat the results of even more squandered tax dollars, the costs of policing prostitution could be justifiable to only a very few. We hope to work closely with the Police Services Board in order to strategize and eventually attain our mutual goals. Thank you again for all your time and I hope you find the information enclosed useful and I look forward to working with you.
on behalf of Maggie's, the Toronto Prostitutes' Community Service Project and SWAT, Sex Workers' Alliance of Toronto.
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