NY Judge Wants Rehab, Less Jail Time for Prostitutes

Moving prostitution cases into special court

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A top New York judge launched an anti-sex trafficking effort Wednesday that seeks to rehabilitate prostitutes while cracking down on pimps and johns.

Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York, called sex trafficking “modern-day slavery” in a statement, and said that victims need education and support, not jail time.

Under the new Human Trafficking Intervention Initiative, all prostitution cases will be transferred to a Human Trafficking Court, where eligible defendants will be provided with services like drug rehab, immigration help, shelter and health care. The court will also connect victims to education programs  to help them get jobs outside the sex industry.

The program, which is the first of its kind, will also get tough on traffickers and those who fuel the demand for prostitutes, Lippman said.