Advertisement

De Facto Decriminalization for Drug Possession and Sex Work in Baltimore, Maryland

Published:January 21, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2022.10.021
      The criminalization of drugs and sex work has substantial social, economic, and health impacts on people who use drugs (PWUD), sex workers, and the communities in which they live. Drug criminalization fuels a number of deleterious health outcomes, including infectious diseases and fatal overdose, with communities of color disproportionately burdened.
      • Mitchell O
      • Caudy MS.
      Examining racial disparities in drug arrests.
      A state-level analysis indicated that drug imprisonment rates are significantly associated with increased levels of drug use and overdose deaths.

      The Pew Charitable Trusts. More imprisonment does not reduce state drug problems. Philadelphia, PA: The Pew Charitable Trusts.https://www.pewtrusts.org/-/media/assets/2018/03/pspp_more_imprisonment_does_not_reduce_state_drug_problems.pdf. Published March 2018. Accessed January 13, 2023.

      Similarly, previous research has found that sex work criminalization is associated with increased exposure to violence and HIV/sexually transmitted infections as well as greater barriers to health services.
      • Sherman SG
      • Park JN
      • Galai N
      • et al.
      Drivers of HIV infection among cisgender and transgender female sex worker populations in Baltimore City: results from the SAPPHIRE Study.
      ,
      • Platt L
      • Grenfell P
      • Meiksin R
      • et al.
      Associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      REFERENCES

        • Mitchell O
        • Caudy MS.
        Examining racial disparities in drug arrests.
        Justice Q. 2017; 32: 288-313https://doi.org/10.1080/07418825.2012.761721
      1. The Pew Charitable Trusts. More imprisonment does not reduce state drug problems. Philadelphia, PA: The Pew Charitable Trusts.https://www.pewtrusts.org/-/media/assets/2018/03/pspp_more_imprisonment_does_not_reduce_state_drug_problems.pdf. Published March 2018. Accessed January 13, 2023.

        • Sherman SG
        • Park JN
        • Galai N
        • et al.
        Drivers of HIV infection among cisgender and transgender female sex worker populations in Baltimore City: results from the SAPPHIRE Study.
        J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2019; 80: 513-521https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000001959
        • Platt L
        • Grenfell P
        • Meiksin R
        • et al.
        Associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies.
        PLoS Med. 2018; 15e1002680https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002680
        • Volkow ND.
        Addiction should be treated, not penalized.
        Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021; 46: 2048-2050https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-021-01087-2
        • Beyrer C
        • Crago AL
        • Bekker LG
        • et al.
        An action agenda for HIV and sex workers.
        Lancet. 2015; 385: 287-301https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60933-8
        • Rosentel K
        • Fuller CM
        • Bowers SME
        • Moore AL
        • Hill BJ.
        Police enforcement of sex work criminalization laws in an “End Demand” city: the persistence of quality-of-life policing and seller arrests.
        Arch Sex Behav. 2021; 50: 1973-1990https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01910-9
        • Sevigny EL
        • Fuleihan BK
        • Ferdik FV.
        Do drug courts reduce the use of incarceration?: a meta-analysis.
        J Crim Justice. 2013; 41: 416-425https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2013.06.005
        • Pacula RL
        • Smart R.
        Medical marijuana and marijuana legalization.
        Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2017; 13: 397-419https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032816-045128
      2. Bratton WJ, Kelling GL. Why we need broken windows policing. City J. 2015;25(1):10–17. https://www.city-journal.org/html/why-we-need-broken-windows-policing-13696.html. Accessed January 13, 2023.