The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona is looking into the program known as “Project ROSE,” which involves sending suspected prostitutes to a church-based diversion program as an option to avoid jail.
The ACLU has filed records requests seeking a wealth of information on the program, which is a collaboration between the Phoenix Police Department and Arizona State University’s School of Social Work.
According to a report from Al-Jazeera last year, Phoenix PD sets up prostitution stings twice a year, in which suspected prostitutes are detained and offered a chance to avoid jail, with a trip to Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix.
According to an ASU press release:
The victims (prostitutes) received options for safe housing, crisis mental health counseling, medical services, options for detox and drug treatment, food, clothes and their initial interview for the Diversion Program provided by Catholic Charities, and most significantly, the opportunity to change their life. Upon completion of the Diversion Program, which can be a six-month commitment, charges will not be filed on the originating case and the individual can begin to move forward with their life and reclaim their dignity.