Essay about Women's Prostitution and the Criminal Justice System

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In the following assignment, it is my intention to produce a research report, examining women involved in street prostitution and how they end up entering the criminal justice system. Within the report I will look at three pieces of research, review their main findings, the type of research that was used, and look to identify where I believe further research is required.

My reason for choosing women in the criminal justice system is that I have expressed an interest in the criminal justice setting and my elective module is in this area. Anything that I learn from undertaking this assignment will aid my understanding and increase my knowledge base when undertaking my second placement.
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Women involved in street prostitution are subjected to 'routine' violence and in the last 7 years, there have been unresolved murders and suspicious deaths, (Women's Support Project 2001). Historically, policing practices have been 'heavy-handed' and local government has sought to limit the spread of 'indoor' prostitution. This is in contrast to the population of 'indoor' prostitution in Edinburgh, which is approximately (90%) with only around 50 women involved in street prostitution, the proportion of intravenous drug users is also reportedly lower (Mackay, F & Schaap, A 2000).

In England and Wales between 1989 and 1995 there were 1,700 convictions of young people under 18 for offences relating to prostitution with a further 2,300 cautions issued. It was within this same period that there was a 40% increase in the number of recorded cases, which involved children aged 16 or under, (Mackay, F & Schaap, A 2000). This has lead to the publication of national guidelines on the safeguarding of children involved in street prostitution in England and Wales (Department of Health, 2000).

Over the years there has been more and more research carried out in relation to the issues surrounding street prostitution, with the government trying to identify areas
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