A Bill To Help Child Prostitutes Incorrectly Called “Legalization” By “Christian” Opponents.

February 1, 2010 16:18 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 75 comments

Senator Renee Unterman is pushing a bill to rescue young girls under the age of 16 who have been forced into prostitution (and yes they have been forced into it). The bill would…

…steer girls under the age of 16 into diversionary programs instead of arresting them as prostitutes.

“This bill makes sure people are aware that young girls are victims,” Unterman said. “A 12-year-old laying on her back don’t know what sex is.”

Unterman – who has championed the rights of young girls – said the bill has been around for at least two years. She said she revisited it because a plan is now in place to rehabilitate the young prostitutes. The age of consent in Georgia is 16.

Unterman said her bill would help create a system of care for the girls while educating the public and those who come in contact with the young girls. It would impact girls getting pimped out on the streets, as well as girls working in massage parlors.

Several hundred people showed up at the Capitol today in support of the bill and to raise awareness on this issue.

Yet somehow a few leading Christian activist oppose Unterman’s effort. We’ll dismiss the rantings of former Senator Nancy Schaefer because…, well because it’s Nancy Schaefer. Sue Ella Deadwyler, who writes a rather influential newsletter took up the lunatic mantle claiming Unterman wants to legalize child prostitution.

“Decriminalizing that means the police would have absolutely no interest in it at all,” said Sue Ella Deadwyler, who writes a Christian conservative newsletter. “They wouldn’t arrest the girls, they wouldn’t pick the girls up, they wouldn’t protect them from influence on the street from the pimps and the johns. It would be an absolute cultural upheaval in our state. Never in the United States, as far as I known, has juvenile prostitution been legalized.”

That is an outrageous statement which should be retracted immediately. Unterman desires no such thing and her bill would absolutely not legalize child prostitution. Deadwyler should take a few minutes to actually speak with people who work with these girls, and how they suggest we help them. Deadwyler could start right here.

These girls often times have been kidnapped, taken far from their homes (many times from their home countries), raped and kept in a drug induced haze in order to keep them compliant. Simply arresting them and throwing them in jail will not help them, and it will not solve the problem. Furthermore the pimps and johns would still face prosecution under Unterman’s bill. How any rational person could claim this is legalization of child prostitution is beyond me.

I hope people will ignore the rantings of Deadwyler and Schaefer and pass Unterman’s bill. I for one will no longer pay attention to anything Deadwyler and Schaefer have to say. They do not speak for me.

Mozart February 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Personally, I always find it more interesting to actually read the true language of a bill, rather than read interpretations of the language of a bill.

Buzz, can you perhaps provide a link to the actual bill?

ProgressivePeach February 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm

If you conservatives lie in bed with whackaloon Christians fundies to get their votes, then you have to expect you’re going to get fleas.
/metaphor mixing

BuckheadConservative February 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

This is a serious topic for mature discussion. Your comments don’t really fit here. Please grow up, and come back and join the grown up conversation

Dave Bearse February 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Yes it is serious, given the influence whackaloons have within the majority party.

Mad Dog February 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm

It’s a serious topic made worse by the whackaloons like Schaefer.

If you don’t act like a child or a nut, then you won’t be ridiculed like a nut.

Meanwhile Buckhead, go back to the adult table and take your dentures with you.

Buzz Brockway February 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Several Christian groups were at the Capitol today in support of the bill. My issue is with Schaefer and Deadwyler.

jenny February 1, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Just Jenny is actually against legalizing child prostitution. Under code section 16-3-9 crimes committed under coercion are not considered crimes.

If a child is no longer doing an illegal act standing on the corner waiting to turn a trick, you have removed the legal authority for a police officer to pick the child up. Instead a sweeping assumption is made that the officer can pick up the child through other unidentified laws which are highly subjective and vulnerable to Constitutional violations.

I could really get excited about legislation that allowed for girls in prostitution to be placed with non-profit services without first going through adjudication, or having fast tracked adjudication for them. And of course, public execution for pimps is always fun.

The legislation is not well written or thought it. It is well intentioned. But for those of us wanting a little more from legislation than good intentions, it isn’t satisfactory and is in fact more harmful than good.

Benjy February 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Actually, Jenny, that’s incorrect. Under Senate Bill 69, passed last year, commercial sexual exploitation of children is a form of child abuse that police are required to report and act upon. Under Unterman’s bill, even if there isn’t a crime going down when the child is selling herself on a street corner (and, by the way, there is….it’s just that the criminals are the pimp and the john, not the child), police have the authority to pick up victims of child abuse and refer them to rehabilitative services….services that have become increasingly available in recent years.

This isn’t “highly subjective”….no more so than picking up children under the current law because the officer suspects them to be prostitutes. And, as an attorney, I fail to see how picking up minors who are being exploited is constitutionally suspect.

Buzz Brockway February 1, 2010 at 11:36 pm

You don’t have to catch someone in the act of prostitution in order to arrest them. If a minor is standing on the street corner the cops can do something about it. Arresting them is not the only option. Cops have many other tools in their arsenal to deal with these children.

There’s also the inconsistency within current law. We don’t arrest victims of statutory rape. They are victims just as under-age prostitutes are victims. We should treat them as victims and prosecute the pimps and johns who are the real criminals. Prosecuting the child in these cases allows the pimps to continue their intimidation and protect themselves by paying for the girls’ attorney. Taking them out of the criminal system allows them to get help.

Buzz Brockway February 1, 2010 at 11:39 pm

My anger at the small number of Christian Activists who showed up today to oppose Unterman is based on several things:

1) By using such strong langue such as claiming Unterman wants to legalize child prostitution, they make themselves look like idiots.

2) They make Christians appear uncaring by demanding that victims be tossed into jail.

3) Some of the more vocal critics like Sue Ella Deadwyler clearly don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. Among Deadwyler’s comments was this gem:

“Sure there are those who are forced into prostitution, but I think most of them volunteer,” Deadwyler said of under 16-year-old prostitutes. “Many, many children have been scared straight because of arrest.”

Does she really believe child prostitutes volunteer to be repeatedly raped, drugged, and beaten? Come on.

Check out the study “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Georgia” which examines the situation and suggests a number of changes.

The current way we’re doing things hasn’t stemmed the tide. It’s time for a different approach.

Ken in Eastman February 2, 2010 at 2:02 am

Buzz,

As suggested to me by a regular PP poster, it’s a shame that Deadwyler and Schaefer did not try to work to fix legislation that does much good instead of torpedoing it. I can see how some people have concerns with the bill, but . . .

It’s usually a good idea to get the facts, see where commonalities lie and try to make good legislation stronger. Unfortunately, this is not what is happening.

I will be extremely disappointed if something good does not come from this legislation. I believe Senator Unterman is owed an apology from those who have attempted to make her a champion of child prostitution.

Josh4507 February 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

Buzz,

As crazy as it seems, most girls are NOT forced into prostitution. Most girls ARE forced to stay in prostitution. They are runaways, not kidnap victims.

todd rehm February 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm
John Konop February 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm

What would Jesus do?

Romegaguy February 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

What Would GOPeach Write? Probably the same crazy stuff…

drjay February 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm

you better huckabelieveit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

drjay February 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm

the comment that there would be no reason to pursue underage prostitution b/c it’s not a crime under this bill is so absurd it’s almost unbelieveable an adult is saying it. the whole point is that if these girls are under the age of consent they are, essentially, being raped b/c they can not agree to have sex with someone, even for money. this bill is all about helping girls in a horrible situation, i can be pretty right wing, but this is embarrassing…

Buzzfan February 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Bingo, drjay…..that’s the point these loons have apparently missed altogether.

polisavvy February 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Excellent post! My sentiments exactly. These people seriously need to get a life and let someone try to do something constructive to help these poor kids. I wish Unterman great success in this cause.

Joshua Morris February 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I support this bill, and I’m really disappointed in so-called conservative groups that are opposing it.

One question for those more familiar with state law: Is there a guarantee that someone below the age of consent who is caught in prostitution will get help? Just dropping the child off at home won’t cut it. I’d like to know that some sort of protection and professional counseling is mandatory.

klw February 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Not a guarantee per se, but there is a system in place. Under SB 69, passed last year, professionals who have to report child abuse (which include law enforcement, teachers, medical personnel and counselors) now have to report any child they believe is being used in prostitution to DFCS. A state-wide system of care has been established to provide services once the children are identified.

Mozart February 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm

“Is there a guarantee that someone below the age of consent who is caught in prostitution will get help? Just dropping the child off at home won’t cut it. I’d like to know that some sort of protection and professional counseling is mandatory.”

I can read nothing in this bill that addresses any kind of “mandatory professional counseling.”

I believe that is the crux of some of the opposition with this bill. I advise people to actually read the bill for themselves before accusing anyone of being “loony.” Read the bill.

Joshua Morris February 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

I did read it, Mozart. That’s why I asked the question regarding other statutes that might address my concern.

GabrielSterling February 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Hammer looking for a nail…

HankRearden February 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Ditto

fishtail February 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Buzz…good on you to post this issue. Hopefully a little sunshine will help pass this legislation.

JessicaF February 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for your positive coverage of Senator Unterman’s bill and of the efforts of all those working to protect these young victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Joshua: regarding your question about rehabilitative services for these children — we now have the Georgia Care Connection set up as of August 2009. This new initiative serves as a single-point entry for victims so that they can be directed to the therapeutic services they so desparately need. Anyone can call them if they believe they’ve identified a child who’s a victime of commerical sexual exploitation.

Here’s some new information about this new system of care:
http://www.icmma.org/CSECSystemofCareToolkit/tabid/149/Default.aspx

For those interested in a faith-based approach to this issue, please read about StreetGrace: http://www.streetgrace.org/

For those interested in a policy perspective, check out this paper by Emory’s Barton Child Law & Policy Clinic:
http://childwelfare.net/activities/legislative2008/CSEC20080131.html

shrike071 February 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Amazing.. Simply amazing.. Of all groups to come out against the bill is one that supposedly stands for preserving the purity of children and families.

WTF! I have agreed with Unterman!!!

Harry February 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Yep, I’m pretty conservative myself but can’t really comprehend why any conservative would think this bill would result in anything bad. To the contrary, it would encourage young victims to break away, and remove the pimp’s argument that there would be negative legal consequences for leaving.

Progressive Dem February 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Where does the Christian Coalition stand on Sen David Vitter’s whoring? The family values Republican admitted to using prostitutes. What a bunch of hypocrites.

shrike071 February 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Progressive –

I’m a blue-blooded dem, but really: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..” If we’re judging these people by the actions of a few instead of the actions of the bunch – the Dems would be in just as bad of shape.

Actually, judging the dems as a whole puts them in fairly poor shape anyway, so there goes that message point…

Mad Dog February 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

shrike,

Democrats aren’t throwing the first stone. They’re throwing it back.

Josh4507 February 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm

At the risk of being one of those right wing nutjobs, lets slow down a little here. This is just like the sex offender law, legislators finding a solution that plays well with the public but does not necessarily help anyone.

First, the statement that most of these kids are abducted from thier homes to be turned out on the streets is absurd. Here is the truth, most of these kids are runaways that are lured by the worst of society into sexual slavery.

Second, prosecution of child prostitutes is not a bad thing. If you have ever interviewed on of these kids, you quickly realize that the name “child prostitute” does not fit as well as “unloved streetwise world hater”. These kids hate the world for good reason, nobody cares for them. Atlanta’s forgotten children ran away for a reason, and they will not be contained by these interventions. The only way to have influence on them is through legal intervention. Intensive probation, drug testing, required counseling is a GOOD thing. Juvenile courts in Georgia are designed to rehab kids, not punish them (which brings me to #3)

Let the Juvenile courts work. If you have some image in your mind of a child having the book thrown at them for prostitution, you are mistaken. If you have an image in your mind of a prostitute taken to intensive counseling and staying there, you are also mistaken.

These girls are lured to this life by the money, freedom, and drugs. Thier pimps are evil, brutal men and the girls are LOYAL to them. Without manditory drug testing, probation, intensive tracking, it’s difficult to break the cycle. It’s naive to think of the problem having such a simple solution. Maybe the Senators would have done themselves a favor by speaking to Juvenile court officers that deal with these problems daily.

Jeff February 1, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Anyone who knew me in my prior life would never believe *I* would say what I’m about to say:

Brute force, forced obedience type measures such as you describe may work with SOME – but that is a VERY small group.

What these “Christians” need to be doing is reaching out to these kids on an individual level. Friend them. Mentor them. Minister to them.

In other words, actually do the work of Christ rather than running your mouth and seeking worldly control.

Christ drew THOUSANDS in his day and BILLIONS since then, and he never once FORCED anyone to do anything.

Chris February 1, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I’m pretty sure he forced people to buy their liquor on Saturday.

Joshua Morris February 2, 2010 at 9:33 am

That’s just funny. :)

Josh4507 February 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Jeff, how many friends do you have on Metropolitan Avenue? How many child sex slaves call you thier mentor? I’m talking about reality here friend, not running my mouth.

True Christians realize that to reach the core, you have to break the shell. You must break the cycle to reach these kids. Drive to Metropolitan and Rockwell and notice the girl standing there. When you drive up to her, she will put a cell phone to her ear. Her pimp is on the line and listening for two reasons; he wants to hear the deal and he wants to make sure you don’t try anything stupid. Try and minister to her or to friend her (actually, don’t, you could end up in a bad situation). In reality, she is kept in this position of slavery by strict rules and forces beyond your friendly abilites. Again, you have to break the cycle.

Jeff February 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Josh:

I’ve worked with at-risk kids for the majority of my life now, both professionally and personally. I’ve had some success, and I’ve had some failures. I’ve taken my lumps and I’ve learned what I could along the way.

The law is NOT changing regarding the pimps and johns – target them ruthlessly and relentlessly if you want to “break the shell”. Legally, they ARE the abusers if the person they are pimping/paying is one second under 16 years of age.

You will NOT break ANY “cycles” by further abusing these kids under color of government. You WILL break these “cycles” by reaching out to them privately. You can’t do that type of ministry by driving down the road like the very johns that are part of the problem. You do it by working with them day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

polisavvy February 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

Excellent post and I couldn’t agree more. He definitely doesn’t force us to do a thing. As a matter of fact, He has given us rules for guidance, i.e., The Ten Commandments. How, being Christians, could they possibly believe that this bill would actually “legalize” prostitution? These people need to try to work with Ms. Unterman, not condemn her.

Ken in Eastman February 2, 2010 at 2:14 am

Josh,

You have much more faith in our juvenile court system than I do. Georgia has an age of consent for a reason: children under that age do not understand, or properly weigh the risks of, the consequences. Whether they hate the world or not, they are victims.

BTW, I’m pretty sure that minors involved in the commission of a crime, whether charged or not, get picked up.

This is a big mess, but I believe the point of Buzz’s piece was that a group of people did not reason through this situation but rather blasted the legislation and attacked the bill’s author unjustly.

You and I could work through this and arrive at different conclusions without ascribing evil motives to each other. Sadly, instead of working something out people’s motives were called into question. I was trying to remember when this was effective political strategy, and quickly remembered quite a few examples – mostly from the left with the aid of the trust media (for those who want to indict all conservatives because of the actions of a few).

Chris February 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Can we resurrect the term “Frigtard ” to describe these people?

polisavvy February 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Now, that was probably the funniest comment I have read today. I think a resurrection is in order. :)

fultonrighty February 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Josh, I agree with your concern about HOW the police have any authority to “get a girl help” if the crime of prostitution is not a crime until she is 16. There is nothing I can see in the bill that gives the police, social services, or anyone else any access to these victims to get them off the street and AWAY from their pimps. What is the mechanism to do that when there is no applicable law. Without the law being applied to the child, how do the police get to the pimps? They are not on the corner marketing; the prostitute is. The real criminals are out of sight and only detectable through questioning the victim child AWAY from their threats and influence.

Something needs to be done, but decriminalization removes the whole situation from the possibility of help. Enlighten me, you all, if you see anything in SB 304 that helps connect victims to services:
http://www.broc.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/versions/sb304_As_introduced_LC_29_3967_2.htm

Let’s make sure we do no harm in the quest to do good.

Jeff February 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm

The law will still apply to pimps, johns, and other abusers of these people regardless of the age of the prostitute.

Those parts of the law do NOT change under this bill – indeed, care was taken to ENSURE that these abusers can still face the full extent of the laws which they were legally capable of consenting to.

The ONLY thing changing here is that, for the first time, it will be essentially recognized that prostitution is a consensual act, and if you are too young to legally give such consent, you cannot legally be a prostitute.

Josh4507 February 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Great point. Even if there were services created in the bill, they would not have any teeth. By not making these services required, you are essentially giving the girl a choice of what she wants to do.

These kids are brainwashed, given the choice, they will return to the streets.

fultonrighty February 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm

I understand the intent, Jeff: protecting victims, but how do you get to the real criminals? Reread the proposed changes in the law. It defines prostitution as being committed only by those 16 and older.

I agree there is an contradiction between the statutory rape law/age of consent, and having no lower age limit on prostitution, but I can’t see a way around it.

The law does not have a minimum age for commission of other crimes, does it? Theft, murder, armed robbery, etc? If a young child is coerced to kill someone, he is taken in for murder, but then treated differently from an adult. If murder were only a crime if he were “old enough” how would he be handled? What legal authority would allow anyone to detain him, question him, find out who was behind the crime, etc.? Legally there wouldn’t even be a crime.

If there were age requirements for crimes, wouldn’t adults be MORE likely to use, coerce and intimidate kids to do their dirty work?

The consent question is thorny, and the police and courts need a way to deal with that apart from removing the crime from reach by decriminalization of the act. Decriminalizing the CHILD is what is needed, not decriminalizing the act.

I don’t believe any state in the US has any law with a minimum age. Do you know of one?

Jeff February 1, 2010 at 9:33 pm

The bill also states that a pimp is still a pimp, regardless of the ability to prosecute the prostitute. I HAVE read it – multiple times. *snark*

Ken in Eastman February 2, 2010 at 2:27 am

A child who was coerced into harming another (murder, robbery, etc) did not have a physical crime perpetrated against himself. Child prostitutes are harmed in the commission of the very crime with which they are charged.

I’m also pretty sure that a pimp who provides a minor for sex is committing quite a few crimes whether the act is called prostitution or not.

As it stands, these minors are sent into our juvenile justice system where they learn how to be a better criminal from other kids.

It bothers me that a 14-year old girl who willingly has sex with her 17-year old boyfriend is considered a victim, but we call her a criminal if she has sex with strangers because if she doesn’t then she will be beaten by her adult pimp. Does this sound just

If it doesn’t sound just then something needs to be changed. Perhaps the bill needs to be refined; I’m not certain, but the current law cannot be called justice.

Travis.Bowden February 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Senator Unterman has a long history of helping children and working to try to curb the sort of filth that children sometimes contend with. I respect her efforts and feel like it’s unfair to make it seem as though she wants to cause moral decay.

We’re lucky to have the Senator in the Gwinnett Delegation. I respect her and consider her to be one of the best public servants around.

jenny February 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Under Code Section 16-3-9 Crimes under co-ersion are not crimes.

Furthermore, SB 304 as currently written would:
- Remove legal authority for an officer to serve a child by extracting the child from a forced prostitution situation when pimp is unknown.
- Encourages children to engage in prostitution activities without worry of consequences.

By raising the age for illegal prostitution, you have in essence legalized child prostitution.

Language to avoid treating the child as a criminal is already achieved in the aforementioned code section. Language can be added to transfer the child into a services program (like non-profit Well Spring of Life) without adjudication.

Language can also be added to expunge criminal record by a certain age.

The bill assumes that police officers can pick up children through other unidentified laws which are highly subjective and vulnerable to Constitutional violations.

According to former FBI field officer director, Ted Gunderson and former Nebraska state Senator, John De Camp, the federal government including the CIA have been involved in underage sex trafficking rings that feed children to certain politicians for control purposes. My point in mentioning this is that the child sex trade in Atlanta is thriving, and it certainly isn’t because law enforcement is working hard to stop it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This bill is back by a good intentioned Senator who is sponsoring a very poor piece of legislation that will have the opposite of the desired effect on the child sex trade in Atlanta.

The real issue is getting the girls into services without being in the jail holding tank awaiting adjudication. Why don’t we do something rational for a change and write legislation to do just that.

While we are at it, the current Georgia code in regard to pimping is INSANE. The offense of keeping a place of prostitution is punishable by 5-20 years in prison and fines of $2,500-$10,000.

If we want to help child prostitutes, pass the death penalty for all pimps in Atlanta. The researchers involved in assembling the data for the Final Report of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors Joint Study Commission prepared by the Senate Research Office in 2008 can point them out to the law enforcement agents who apparently can’t find them.

Jeff February 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I’m sorry Jenny, but you’re the same sadist who earlier tonight was extremely graphic in describing how you wish the man you were “thrilled” was murdered in his church would have been murdered instead.

You’ve shown time and time again just how crazy you are, and your above comment isn’t helping matters any.

Ken in Eastman February 2, 2010 at 2:38 am

Jeff,

While paralleling your arguments, my point throughout this thread have been to make something good out of this attempted legislation. In this case, Jenny did research and made suggestions. I don’t want to be guilty of the same thing that Deadwyler and Schaefer have done and react without thinking.

And while I’m pretty sure we can’t get the death penalty for the pimps of child prostitutes, I wish we could. Anyway, whatever your feelings, give credit where credit is due.

Mozart February 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Apparently you like mixing pineapples with pine cones, Jeff. You haven’t observed Renee Unterman’s various episodes of whacky behavior over the years, and you seek to blunt Jenny’s arguments based on your personal feelings of dislike for her. That’s just a sad way to carry on a debate.

Buzz Brockway February 2, 2010 at 7:51 am

As pointed out above you’re incorrect about coersion laws.

But Jenny, of all the nutty things you’ve ever said, this has to be the nuttiest:

According to former FBI field officer director, Ted Gunderson and former Nebraska state Senator, John De Camp, the federal government including the CIA have been involved in underage sex trafficking rings that feed children to certain politicians for control purposes. My point in mentioning this is that the child sex trade in Atlanta is thriving, and it certainly isn’t because law enforcement is working hard to stop it.

So what, we should just throw every teenager in jail and shoot every suspected pimp because of the secret law enforcement child prostitution ring? Get back to reality Jenny.

jenny February 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm

@ Jeff–I’m relieved to know that you don’t think I’m sane. When you start cheering for me, I’ll start to sweat.

Also, your adroitness in throwing out Red Herrings is amazing. Why speak directly to facts, data and logic when you can move forward into bombastic stupidity, intentionally obfuscating truth and misquoting me.

Jeff February 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Misquoted?

I’ll let the people here decide for themselves.

Here is the tweet I put out with the screenshot of your quote – I LOVE Windows 7′s Snippet tool! :D

Harry February 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm

I would not use the term “private businessman” to describe Tiller.

Jeff February 2, 2010 at 3:36 am

Just because his business was in a line one personally disagrees with – and I strongly disagree with it personally – does not negate the fact that he was a private businessman offering a service that clearly some felt beneficial to them.

But hey, this is beginning to feel like a threadjack, so I propose we drop this line of comments pending an open thread, shall we?

Mozart February 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm

“he was a private businessman offering a service that clearly some felt beneficial to them.”

By that argument, pimps are offering a service that clearly some feel is beneficial.

jenny February 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm

@Jeff- so your the one who nominated Hitler for the Nobel Peace Prize….I wondered about that. :-)

Thanks for making me such a central part of your rants. I appreciate the publicity.

SkyDog February 1, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Nancy Schaefer should truly be in a mental institution. If she was ever examined by a doctor, she wouldn’t be coming to the Capitol any more because she would be locked up.

Mayonnaise February 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Man… there has to be a way to re-write this bill so both sides are happy. People are more interested in blasting each other than fixing the problem. Sad.

Ken in Eastman February 2, 2010 at 2:39 am

I absolutely agree.

Buzzfan February 2, 2010 at 9:17 am

Yep.

drjay February 2, 2010 at 9:33 am

i believe the senator said a compromise is in the works, if there are parts of the bill that can be improved and still work toward a goal of helping these girls, that would be awesome, and i doubt the senator would object, although all the histrionics of her “opponents” on the right probably make that a little harder…

sonofliberty February 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

…..Senator Unterman’s bill does exactly what she says it will do……The Christian Right……is….neither

fultonrighty February 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

I am encouraged to hear that a compromise might be in the works. Both those for and against it want the real criminals to be prosecuted to the max, and for the victims to be helped by groups such as Wellspring Living, Angela’s House, etc. Both want child prostitution to be blotted out of existence.

SB304′s approach has not been tried anywhere else; why not? What is working well elsewhere? How can we innovate with legal wisdom, not just good intentions? There has to be an answer. Who is working on it?

patquig February 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Buzz, thanks for standing up for Sen. Unterman and her attempt to
protect young girls from victimization. By not prosecuting young
girls under 16 we have an opportunity to rehabilitate them without
their being exposed to the juvenile detention center where they are
only encouraged there to become felons. I disagree with all who
say that most of these girls are prostituting themselves voluntarily.
They are lured into prostitution by the people we should continue
to throw the book at, pimps, panderers, trafikkers and johns. As a
victim they should be treated as such and put into programs designed to help them out of these circumstances and into a productive life without the stain of arrest, prosecution and the
influence of those in the juvenile detention facilities. The cops can
pick-up young girls get them into the proper care giving environments without having to arrest them and without violating
their civil rights. I am very disappointed with the arguments that
want to use punishment for these victims instead of grace. It is
like arresting someone who has been stabbed and is bleeding instead
of providing medical care.

Harry February 3, 2010 at 8:18 am

Amen to that.

tracyo February 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm

As a member of GA Rescue and Restore I received information that the 2 sides had reached a tentative agreement at 11am on 2/01. Yet after the groups that supported the bill left, at 2pm the opposing group still had a press conference of their own on the steps of the capitol building. It also seemed they were armed with nothing but conjecture and opinion. I hope that was not enough to distract the legislators that have said they will vote in favor of this legislation into changing their minds. A Future Not a Past, Street Grace and Wellspring as well as other groups that are in favor of the legislation have actual GA research to back up their statistics and have done actual work on the frontlines of the issue. Just ask Sgt Britton with the Atlanta Police who heads their Child Expolitation Task Force what he thinks of the bill. Or better you can read it here: http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/856. I was there at that hearing and I was also there at the capitol on Monday 2/01. If any of the opponents of the bill would like to see the motives of the people behind this bill they can read about them all over the internet, here is an example : //www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/FBI_Atlanta_Fight_Child_Prostitution_072209
A little research and a few moments reading reveal that the people behind this legislation have the best for the child victims in mind as well what is better for our state. In this state budget crunch, they are asking for no more funding, no more cost or expense to the state whatsoever. The infrustructure and funding are already in place right now. If girls ( and boys too , hopefully in the near future their needs will also be addressed more ) continue to go thru the revolving door of juvenile detention centers, there is greater cost to the state now and for years to come when they cannot support themselves or their children. It behooves us to stop recidivism. These kids are more likely to learn how to commit more crimes when incarcerated. Not to mention the fact that the Dept of Juvenile Justice is so overwhelmed right now that I am told they have to reserve beds for kids who are deemed a danger to others. They simply have no room or budget to hold onto the others. So any way you look at it there is no protection for them there. Plus no one I know would say that kids going into Juvenile Detention are being rehabilitated, so how exactly are they being helped by going there? And I heard the opposing group stated what is needed is more police and law enforcement- if they did say that, that seems a little reckless because they offered no solution just another budgeting problem. Oh yes, I wanted to mention also that I learned from SGt Britton that in the past the police could not pick up a minor without an arrest, unless DFCS has an existing pickup order with that specific childs name on it. But now that the law has been passed last year for mandatory reporting of any suspected sexual abuse of a child, they now not only can pickup the minor but must do so as a matter of law. Then they can utilize the GA Car Connection to have the minor’s needs assessed and placement etc.
I continue to hope and pray that both sides can stick to what they can agree to and avoid the rest, so that what is best for Georgia and for its children is what gets accomplished in the end.

p.s. This is my personal pet peeve: Right now, the only ones able to make any headway in GA fighting child prostitution are the FBI. GA law enforcement works with them but I look forward to a day when GA will take care of it in-house. We should police our own state. We have a state law in place for that purpose, we just need to enable law enforcement here to do their jobs.

Ken in Eastman February 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm

tracyo,

Good post and informative. Thanks!

In the future, could you please hit enter a few times and create paragraphs? It makes the posts easier to read. :-)

Mad Dog February 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Pretty good string and a damn good post.

The nuts are clearly nutty. The uninformed wanna know more. And those with their shoes on, don’t want the State legislaturers taking their shoes off with underage streetwalkers.

I like it.

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