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Jan-20-2009 18:25printcomments

Prostitution, Drugs and Women in Jail

MCSO publishes reports on who, where, why, when‏.

Portland prostitutes
Portland prostitutes
Courtesy: PortlandIndyMedia

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Resource and Analysis Unit has just published two new reports on women and crime in the County.

The first report is entitled, 'Prostitution and Drugs in Portland' and is a review of the correlation between prostitution, drug arrests and the impact on our corrections system before, during and after the advent of the drug and prostitution free zones.

This report also reviews literature on drugs and prostitution.

Go to the main MCSO website ( and click on 'Administrative Services', then 'Publications and Reports'; or at this link:

Excerpts from Report:

"While common stereotypes and portrayals of prostitutes by media and entertainment might lead one to assume a definitive relationship exist between drug use and prostitution, studies tend to find that an association does exist but that it is far from clear and linear (McClanahan, McClelland, Abram, and Teplin 1999; and Potterat et al. 1998)."

"Studies of prostitution arrestees have commonly found that a majority (78-85%) of prostitutes test positive for drugs of some type. The type of drugs used by prostitutes also seems relatively consistent across multiple studies. Among prostitutes surveyed by Dalla (2000), crack cocaine was preferred, but heroin, alcohol, and marijuana were also used frequently among the group. Baseline assessments of a small group of street-level prostitutes for the Magdalena Pilot Project in Albuquerque found heroin to be the primary drug of choice among 59% of participants, while another 33% preferred crack cocaine (Yahne et al 2002). Results from an 8-year study that drug-tested prostitution arrestees found that 73% tested positive for cocaine overall, with 41% using crack cocaine (Yacoubian et al 2000)."

The second report is a Review of Women Arrested and in Jail: 2003 -2007:

This report found that women spend less time in jail than men for similar charges and are 1.97 times more likely to be arrested for Forgery/Counterfeit and 1.61 times for Fraud. Research reports are posted on the Sheriff's website and include regular reports on jail populations and demographics, matrixing, 'frequently booked' criminals and more.

Excerpts from Report:

"During the 5 years from 2003 to 2007, Portland Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office made over 180,000 arrests of people over 18 years of age. Of these arrests, 22%, or 39,649, were of women. This averages 7930 arrests per year of women. The number of women arrested has been relatively consistent over the past five years."

"The 180,079 total arrests represent 73,580 individuals, as 39% were arrested more than once. All individuals arrested averaged approximately 2.45 arrests from 2003 to 2007. Women averaged 2.26 arrests and men averaged 2.51 arrests during that time period. Of the individual persons arrested from 2003 to 2007, 24% were women and 76% were men. Women had a lower rate of re-arrest than men."

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