SWOP Behind Bars

Contact email
Who do you work with?

We serve incarcerated sex workers in the United States by offering a monthly newsletters, pen pals and Book donations. Our incarcerated members include Male, Female, Trans folks, adults and juveniles who were sentenced as adults in the State and Federal Criminal Justice systems in the United States. We are partnered with other like minded organizations who currently provide services and support to sex workers who are incarcerated and organizations who provide services and support to folks who are released into the community after the end of their prison sentence.

How are sex workers involved in your organisation?

Our BOD and core membership is sex workers, incarcerated sex workers and formerly incarcerated sex workers. We provide peer support services to anyone who has been incarcerated and has a history of work in the commercial sex industry. Our incarcerated members do not always identify as sex workers.

Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face

1- Community support while incarcerated including education and information about health and wellness, access to GED tutoring and testing and advanced education such as college level courses and information about the sex worker rights and responsibilities movement.
2- Reentry support and services upon release such as assistance with locating safe and supportive housing, identification documents, food, clothing, jobs, education and safety and health information and access as available on a local level.

Describe other areas of your work

IN addition to the monthly newsletter that is delivered to incarcerated sex workers anonymously submitted from the community through our website, we create individual Amazon wishlists for our incarcerated members, donate books, composition journals and stamped envelopes to prison libraries and chaplains and assist with substance abuse and reentry material for local areas when requested. We also mail a welcome home gift box of hygiene items to our members upon release. We are working towards creating a reentry workbook and journal to assist with building community and connecting released folks to services and support upon release.