Prostitute Diversion Initiative (PDI)

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A Dallas Police Sergeant, Louis Felini, also witnessed firsthand the haplessness of relying wholly upon the conventional formula of arrests and jail time. Consequently, he began organizing the Prostitute Diversion Initiative (PDI) in 2007, one of the most unique and comprehensive programs in the nation. What really sets PDI apart from other programs is the broad cooperation that it has among various organizations including drug rehabs, law enforcement, judges, and over 45 different social services. PDI consists of a group that travels in buses filled with various social workers and volunteers. There are also former prostitutes who try to counsel these women with an exit strategy in mind. PDI’s “New Life” program is a 45 day program with substance…show more content…
Another Dallas Police Sgt., Byron A. Fassett, was frustrated with how teen prostitutes were rarely willing to help convict their pimps. He discovered while researching old case files that the vast majority of teen prostitutes had run away from home over four times a year. In response, he presumed that a new approach (again involving the carrot, not the stick) would be the more appropriate measure. Thus, he initiated the “High Risk Victim” unit to identify those teens most at risk. Obviously, any police operated initiative will usually involve arrests, but Fassett’s program specifically made it a point to not brand these youths with the Scarlet letter, i.e. a prostitution arrest. Instead, they charge these youths with much lesser crimes, such as truancy. Afterward, these teens are offered shelter at a specific sequestered site where they receive various social services. To sum up, it’s been an overwhelming success as roughly 75% of these teen runaways involved in this program quit prostitution and several of them have been willing to testify against their pimps in…show more content…
For instance, Houston’s diversion program has some past participants who attest that it helped turn their life around, but there are detractors as well. This program is led by a former drug-addicted prostitute with a confrontational type of approach. The women who enter these programs have various needs such as drug rehab, mental health issues, job training, etc. Therefore, it’s a waste of taxpayer funds to implement a one-size-fits-all approach with “scared straight” types of lectures. For example, it isn’t the appropriate methodology for someone who simply needs help finding a job. And that was the case with one woman who uploaded audio from a lecture in which the participants were forced to “confess” that they were no different from rapists and Charles Manson because prostitution is also a crime. Upon listening to more of these recordings it’s no surprise that the same woman felt the need, for the first time in her life, to seek out a therapist due to the treatment that she received in the

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