In April, almost a year after social work senior Monica Jones was arrested on suspicion of manifesting prostitution, a gavel banged in a courtroom full of supporters. After the judge announced Jones was guilty, she firmly decided to keep fighting for her case and sex workers’ rights.
“That’s who I am, and I will never stop advocating,” she said. “No matter if I have to do 30 days in jail, I’m still going to advocate for it.”
In May 2013, a day after protesting Project ROSE, a project led by the School of Social Work and Phoenix Police, Jones, a transwoman, was walking in a tight dress from her home to a nearby bar to meet with her friends.
When she got in a car with a stranger that night, she didn’t know this decision would result in an arrest, a grueling trial and a sentence.
Jones also didn’t know that a year later, her courtroom would be full of many supporters while Project ROSE would receive attention from social rights organizations and national media, be scrutinized, torn to shreds and finally called “flawed.”
By that fateful night, Jones had already been actively protesting the project. She said it was obvious to her it traumatizes sex workers and violates their rights and that its logic is wrong.