Pubdate: Mon, 20 Dec 2004
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Natasha Laurence


At the risk of being labelled a bleeding heart, I would like to support 
Kate Quinn's call for practical compassion in the case of street 
prostitutes ("Sting angers sex workers' advocate," The Journal, Dec. 11).

While there is no doubt that the prostitutes' presence in our community is 
disturbing and sometimes frightening, I question the long-term 
sustainability of the enforcement model currently used in Edmonton.

Spending four months in the over-crowded human rights wasteland 
Edmontonians call the Remand Centre because she can't get bail will do 
nothing to enhance a woman's employability or life skills. It will not 
improve her mental or physical health. And it's doubtful it will treat her 
addiction should she happen to have one.

Chances are, four months later, she will be right back where she started.

I don't believe there is a person in Edmonton who wants prostitutes safely 
off the street more passionately than Kate Quinn. I would like to trust 
that passion.

In the interest of fairness maybe the municipal and provincial government 
could give Quinn the financial equivalent to the resources used in 
Operation Girl Interrupt, i.e. the man-hours of 50 police officers over 
four months and the Remand Centre care time for 50 women times 120 days. By 
my reckoning, keeping them at the Remand Centre will cost close to $1 
million. Properly funded, Kate's practical, compassionate approach to 
street prostitution -- already proven successful on a small scale -- may be 
the sustainable solution we seek.

Natasha Laurence,

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