Monday, May 23, 2011

Louisiana Legislature Takes Steps Towards Ending Crime Against Nature Law

From our friends at Women With a Vision:
Tomorrow, Tuesday May 24th, at 9:30am, the Louisiana House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee will take up the bill to remove Solicitation of a Crime Against Nature (SCAN) from the sex offender registry and make the penalties the same as prostitution. Women With A Vision's Deon Haywood will be testifying with others in our network. The bill author is Representative Charmaine Marchand Stiaes, District 99.

This is a huge step in our struggle for healing and justice with the women of NOLA.

In New Orleans, women engaged in sex work are increasingly being charged under the felony-level SCAN statute. A SCAN conviction mandates 15-year registration as a sex offender. Along with having to send out cards to all the local schools and agencies wherever they move, anyone with a SCAN charge also faces a minimum $2,000 fine, with threat of incarceration for failure to pay.

At present, 97% of women registered as sex offenders are mandated to do so because of a SCAN conviction.

This law completely disconnects our women from what remains of a social safety net, making it impossible for them to recognize and develop their goals, dreams and desires. That is why our women are calling it ‘NO JUSTICE.’ And it is their words that we take as our organizing call.

For more information on SCAN, please check out our policy brief at this link.

Love to all who have helped us come this far!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, hooray for prostitution convictions then?

If we want an end to the criminalization of sex work, why isn't that what we are fighting for?

Does reducing penalties while still allowing the law to categorize consensual behavior as criminal do anything to prevent penalties from still being whatever the government decides they will be?

This reform helps integrate sex workers into society, but do we want to be integrated into a society that continues to criminalize sex work?