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Title: Reducing demand, controlling supply : evaluating new street-level prostitution policy interventions and paradigms in Nottingham
Author: Hamilton, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 2880
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis describes and explains the impact of a number of policy initiatives intended to tackle the demand for, and supply of, street-level markets operating in Nottingham. The research triangulated survey data undertaken with 104 men attending a Nottingham-based ‘Kerb-Crawler Rehabilitation Programme’ (the ‘Change’ Programme) and interview data with twenty-two ‘working girls’, ten ‘punters’ and ten agency/Criminal Justice professionals. Current sociological and criminological writings on prostitution suggest that recent policy interventions are broadly representative of a ‘paradigm shift’ away from punitive-only initiatives aimed at working girls, towards the criminalisation of men that pay for (street-level) sex. Whilst these policy interventions are bedevilled by contradictions and inconsistencies, there is an inherent assumption that demand reductions can, and will, lead to a corresponding contraction in supply. In light of this, the thrust of the analysis in this thesis focused on several key questions: do policy interventions – particularly those concerned with ‘re-educating’ punters - reduce the recidivism rates amongst identified street-level punters? Do ‘new’ policy initiatives deter ‘new’ punters into Nottingham’s street-level sex markets? Do they facilitate ‘exiting’ for street-level working girls? And overarching all of this: can we rely upon simplistic economic assumptions about the relationship between supply and demand to street-level markets? In addressing these questions, the thesis concludes that ‘re-education’ has some notable value in challenging the attitudes and beliefs of street-level punters (particularly ‘first-timers’ and ‘intermediates’) that cannot be achieved by ‘traditional’ Criminal Justice interventions alone. However, it is also argued that any long-term/additive benefits associated with ‘re-education’ (including recidivism reductions) may be compromised in the absence of a better-targeted curriculum and suitable aftercare support. The threat of ‘re-education’ – as opposed to education - is demonstrated to be insignificant as a deterrent, because it appears to be trumped by the threat of this private activity being publicly ‘outed’ and to a lesser extent by traditional Criminal Justice sanctions. Paradoxically, the findings suggest that moderate demand reductions – on their own – are unlikely to have any significant impact on the number of working girls operating ‘on the street’. More insidiously, there is strong evidence that the combination of demand reductions and a move towards ‘Compulsory Rehabilitation Orders’ will have displacement, operational and safety issues for working girls, all of which remain significant barriers to ‘exiting’ prostitution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available