Montpelier considers rolling back ordinance banning prostitution

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 4:41 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Montpelier City Council is considering rolling back an ordinance banning prostitution.

Repealing the ordinance is a recommendation from the city’s police review committee. Committee members say police should instead focus on human trafficking, coercion and when force is at issue.

Some in town have spoken out against the proposed repeal.

Members of the police review committee say sex workers are more likely to not report violence and seek help while prostitution is criminalized.

“The large majority of towns in Vermont do not have ordinances criminalizing prostitution. In many ways we are not making Montpelier an outlier, we are bringing them in line with the rest of the state,” said Justin Drechsler, a member of the Police Review Committee.

The proposal would also express support on behalf of the council for a statewide proposal to decriminalize sex work.

The proposal comes after lawmakers this session approved a similar charter change in Burlington.

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