For the past several years prostitution has been a major problem for law enforcement along interstate I-20 in the southern sector of Dallas County. Over 1,100 prostitutes have been identified working in this area and bringing in other criminal enterprises that law enforcement has to contend with.
Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is not a victimless crime. With prostitution comes a plethora of other crimes; in some cases these crimes are violent and are drug related. In all cases the victims are the women themselves who are trapped in this vicious cycle.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department has joined forces with the Dallas Police Department, Dallas County Health and Human Services and other area support and advocacy groups to help these women get off the streets and repair their lives.
Once arrested, the detainee is taken to a remote bookin; where the field operations are being held. She is searched and relieved of any contraband, then taken for a medical screening. The Dallas County Heath and Human Services test for any sexually transmitted diseases and HIV right on-site in their mobile laboratory.
After testing they are taken before an on-site judge. The judge determines if she is to be transported to the Dallas County jail or enrolled in one of the treatment centers available on-site, all according to her criminal history and other factors. The women have the opportunity to accept this offer or go to jail. PDI is a 100% volunteer based program.
By being pro-active, giving these women the necessary tools to be productive citizens not only benefits the women and the surrounding communities; it allows law enforcement to take less of a re-active approach to prostitution.