HOUSTON, Tx. -- The law recognizes prostitution as a crime, but some people don't realize that prostitutes are often victims of the crime itself.
The Harris County District Attorney's office is setting up what they call "SAFE court" in an effort to help break the cycle of prostitution among young adults.
"SAFE court stands for survivors acquiring freedom and empowerment. The group that we are targeting are young adults 17 years of age up to 25 who are involved in prostitution," said Harris County District Attorney, Devon Anderson said during a press conference.
The program will target first time prostitution offenders, but some repeat offenders will be eligible also.
"Research has shown that with people who are involved in prostitution, sending them to jail does not give them the tools to break free out of the prostitution business," Anderson said.
So with this new program, victims will receive treatment intervention, which is designed to help them transition out of that lifestyle, especially since many have long histories of abuse, neglect, and addiction.
"You have to break the connection between the prostitute and the pimp, or the prostitute and the owner, get them away, get them to a safe place and help them work on all their issues," said Anderson.