New York State Bill S1379/A2305 would stop police and prosecutors from using possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution. Currently, police and courts can use the fact that a person has or is carrying condoms to prove that they are engaging in criminal activity. Sex workers report that they are more likely to be arrested if they carry condoms. Police officers regularly confiscate condoms from people they allege are engaged in prostitution to use as evidence against them at trial. As a result people are hesitant to carry condoms to protect themselves and others, for fear that it will lead to arrest or be held against them in court. Sound public health policy would encourage condom use by eliminating the fear that carrying a condom will be used against you by police or in a court of law.
Follow this link to read the Text of State Bill S1379/A2305 and stay updated on the Bill’s actions in the State Legislature
Watch a short PSA about this issue.
Read our joint report with the PROS Network: “Public Health Crisis: The Impact of Using Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in New York City”
What’s happening now
On June 20, 2013, the “No Condoms As Evidence” bill passed the New York State Assembly for the first time. Read our press release
What you can do
- Write letters to the editor, tweet, blog and spread the word!
- Get your organization to support S1379/A2305
- Send Red Umbrella Project’s postcards to your representatives: Fill out your address at the Red Umbrella Project’s website, and they’ll send two of their educational postcards about condoms as evidence to your State Senator and Assembly Member in your name.
- Learn how to lobby your representatives: SWP and Sex Work Awareness hold annual Legislative Advocacy workshops for sex workers and allies. Email swp to get involved.