Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition
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Police Chief's View of Prostitution - Against Prostitution Laws.

Transcribed Radio quotes of Joe McNamara, former Police Chief of Kansas City and than San Jose California for 15 years, gives his prospective on the enforcement of prostitution laws. January 28 2004: "Legalization of Prostitution" hosted by Sakura Saunders: KDVS, Davis CA

"My feeling is that it is not in the area of behavior that really can be controlled or should be controlled by criminal laws. It's consensual conduct between two or more people. It has been going on as long as recorded history. Trying to stop it by criminal law has proven to be an enormous failure that has led to corruption, it has led to violence, and it certainly has not lessened prostitution but probably made it much less profitable."

"The law is based upon religious morals and while people certainly are free to believe in any religious belief and practice that they wish, at the same time I don't think its right to start putting people in jail who don't share that wish. And I think that is the essence of what we call the separation clause of the First Amendment that we shall separate the government from any official religion. And when it comes to prostitution it is pretty clear that the objections to prostitution came from religious groups and they succeeded in getting their version of sin put into the penal code and ever since then we have been paying a terrible price for it."

"Which causes the more social harm, the prostitution or the terrible consequences of making it illegal. The violence the corruption, the spread of disease the lack of control, the blackmail the other consequences of making this kind of behavior a crime. Most police officers that are candid about this will tell you that what we do is kind of token enforcement. No one in their right mind can believe we can stamp out prostitution."

"In terms of the philosophy of a free society of America its wrong on that basis and secondly when you look at the pragmatic parts of it, it is unenforceable. And thirdly its an enormous misuse of scarce police resources where we have women and children in danger from violent serial sex criminals and killers, that is what we should be concentrating on, not how many arrests we can make for prostitution."

Joe McNamara is now a research fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

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