State Senate looks to increase prostitution penalties

A new bill in the state Senate would increase the penalty for those who promote and patronize prostitution within 1,000 feet of a school. This comes in the wake of community advocates discovering prostitution taking place near elementary school P.S. 6.

Parents and residents in West Farms applaud the bill, calling it "inconceivable" that children can see prostitution happening from their school windows. However, advocates for sex workers believe the law would actually harm sex workers, many of whom are drug addicts. A member of the Citiwide Harm Reduction advocacy group said the bill will end up costing the criminal justice system extra money and won't fix the problem.

The proposed bill would change prostitution penalties from misdemeanors to felonies, and now heads to the Assembly for passage.

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