Prostitution: Should it be Criminal Prostitution or also know as the worlds oldest profession is a criminal act almost everywhere inside the United States today. The question is whether it should remain a criminal or not. James Bovard feels that prostitution should be decriminalized for 2 main reasons. First, far too much policeman power is being wasted on prostitution stings and arrests. Second, legalization will help prevent the spread of disease, most importantly the spread of HIV. Anastasia Volkonsky states that prostitution degrades women. That even in places with legal prostitution in America, illegal prostitution still takes place. According to James Bovard the police spend way too much time effort and money combating prostitution in America. Now a day s police use all sorts of stings and measures to combat prostitution. In some of these cases these operations could almost be out right entrapment on the police side. In Detroit, Washington, New York, Portland, and some other area, the police have the right to confiscate ones vehicle if caught soliciting to a prostitute. Basically the police have acted like de facto car thefts when using this statute in undercover operations. The problem is that police arrest way to many people for prostitution, especially in reference to other more serious crimes. Las Vegas for example, arrests on the average of 300 to 400 prostitutes a month. In Boston, Cleveland, and Houston the police arrest twice as many prostitutes as they did for all homicides, rapes, robberies, and assaults combined. The reason is prostitution arrests are easier to make because they are right out in the open. Far to many police agencies stress the importance of undercover operations for prostitutions. The nations jails are already crowded and will get worse if this continues. Legalizing prostitution well prevent the spread of Sexual Transmitted Diseases. If prostitution is legal, prostitutes must get mandatory medical check ups to ensure that they are healthy. Right now in Washington DC about 50 percent of prostitutes currently have HIV and are still performing tricks . That s a 50-50 chance I would not like to have. Finally, if prostitution does become legal prostitutes would be put in designated areas. Even Elenore Rooselvelt had a call for decriminalize prostitution. Eleanor Roosevelt's "Call For Decriminalization" was adopted by 50 nations but not her own! When Eleanor Roosevelt read a convention paper on sex-work to the United Nations in 1949, she added herself to the list of endorsers of a prostitutes' rights movement, which would fight on for decades to come. Her call for the decriminalization of prostitution was ratified by more than 50 countries -- ironically, her own "free" country did not number among them (http://www.sexwork.com//coalition/whatcountrieslegal.html). Anastasia Volkonsky takes a far different approach to the issue of prostitution. She feels that prostitution degrades and lowers the status of woman especially if it was to become legal. One does not become a prostitute by choice, but because of some force, whether physical economic or simply because one is an illegal immigrant. Prostitutes are routinely raped, beaten, and even murder, how could this be considered a profession or career choice for a woman? The scary thing is that sometimes its safer and better living conditions for a prostitute to wind up in jail. The real way to combat prostitution is to go after the johns and the pimps. Yet, that takes way too much time and resources, and it s much easier to arrest the hooker . Cities that have the legislature to confiscate ones vehicle if caught soliciting a prostitute is a good way to warn of some johns. As long as just the hookers are getting arrested to whole social structure of prostitution is still in tact. Even in Nevada where some places prostitution is legal illegal prostitution still flourishes. The commercial sex industry includes street prostitution, massage brothels, escort services, outcall services, strip clubs, lap dancing, phone sex, adult and child pornography, video and Internet pornography, and prostitution tourism. Most women who are in prostitution for longer than a few months drift among these various permutations of the commercial sex industry. All prostitution causes harm to women. Whether it is being sold by one s family to a brothel, or whether it is being sexually abused in one s family, running away from home, and then being pimped by one s boyfriend, or whether one is in college and needs to pay for next semester s tuition and one works at a strip club behind glass where men never actually touch you all these forms of prostitution hurt the women in it. (Melissa Farley, paper presented at the 11th International Congress on Women s Health Issues, University of California College of Nursing, San Francisco. 1-28-2000) (http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/factsheet.html). This paragraph sums up the point of the author, stating that prostitution dehumanizes and degrades women in general. I feel that it should be a 2-prong tactic to correct this situation. First, the police should focus more attention on the pimps. If the pimps are eradicated then there is hope for decriminalization. If decriminalization was to be put in effect today I don t feel it would work due to the strong hold the pimps and organized crime posses on prostitution in America. Once the current structure is gone then prostitution can be legal and the police can spend their time arresting murders, rapists, etc.