Two Proposed Rhode Island Decriminalization Bills

Apr 22, 2022

It’s time to focus on proposed Rhode Island decriminalization efforts. Hearings for two different bills were held in early April 2022. S2713 was drafted by the Rhode Island chapter of Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics, or COYOTE

Among the laws S2713 would repeal are those criminalizing prostitution, procurement of sexual conduct for a fee, loitering for prostitution, soliciting from motor vehicles for indecent purposes, pandering or permitting prostitution, and refusing to comply with examination and treatment for venereal disease protocols. The bill would also expunge the records of people previously convicted of violating these laws, with the exception of permitting or pandering prostitution. 

Also under consideration by the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee is S2716, which would also decriminalize prostitution, but make it a civil violation, punishable by a fine of up to $250, which is an improvement over its current status: a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. COYOTE RI is also backing Senate Bill 2233, which essentially says that if cops have sex with people who are detained, it should be considered sexual assault. Whether these measures advance beyond committee or not, their considerations are certainly setting powerful precedents.

Excerpted From: We Plead The 14th Amendment / Old Pro News

Learn More: Coyote RI (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) is a group of sex workers, former sex workers, trafficking victims and allies that are advocating for policies that promote the health and safety of people involved in the sex industry.

Background: Rhode Island Senators Consider Two Paths To Decriminalizing Prostitution / Reason