prostitution, women, specialized criminal courts, Midtown Community Court, New York City, women's court


This article explores New York City's non-traditional, judicially based response to prostitution. This article first recounts the history of New York City’s Women’s Court. It then examines the work of the Midtown Community Court, the “problem-solving court” established in 1993 to address criminal issues, like prostitution, in Midtown Manhattan. It also discusses the renewed concerns about sex work in New York and describe the movement, propelled by modern reformers, to address prostitution through specialty courts. It then contrasts the shared features and attributes of the Women’s Court and Midtown Court models. Finally, the article urges modern reformers to step back from the problem-solving court movement and their call for the creation of more such specialized criminal courts.



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