Certain areas of Phoenix have a problem with prostitution and sex workers are often [sic] trafficked into it so some (I assume) well-intentioned people came up with a diversion program which is not without its critics:
Project ROSE (Reaching Out on Sexual Exploitation) is a collaboration between the Phoenix Police Department and Arizona State University School of Social Work. Twice a year, more than 100 police officers spend two days rounding up sex workers through street sweeps and online stings. Sex workers are handcuffed and taken to Bethany Bible Church. They are then assessed for eligibility to the “arrest-diversion” program. Anyone with previous arrests for prostitution or in possession of drugs at the time of arrest is ineligible. Eligible sex workers speak to a prosecutor who offers them the ultimatum of criminal charges and possible jail time or participation in a “rehabilitation” program run by Catholic Charities. They are denied the right to speak to a defense attorney.
The article I quoted is from Ryan Beck Turner of the Human Trafficking Center, who is obviously not a fan of the program. ProjectROSE came to the attention of sex worker and civil rights advocates when Monica Jones, an ASU social work student and transgender and sex worker activist, was apprehended and charged with “manifesting prostitution”. Jones claims she was not soliciting on the night she was arrested and that she was targeted for protesting ProjectROSE.
I’m just going to say that Project ROSE strikes me as a ghastly cross between a Crisis Pregnancy Center and a 12 step program, with police and prosecutorial force behind it. But even if it were the most fantastic prostitution diversion program ever devised, the way they get people into the program is fraught with violations of due process.