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Saturday, October 8, 2016

LETTER TO LINDA CHAVEZ OF CENTER FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

Dear Ms. Chavez:

I saw you yesterday "On the Contrary" and wanted to reach out because the largest number of "non-violent female offender's" right now in the criminal justice system are prostitutes.  

Please let me introduce myself.  My name is Jody Williams and I founded a 12 step program in 1987 originally called "Prostitutes Anonymous".  The jails/prisons were desperate back then to get as many who might be infected as possible out of the system so our program was greeted by a red carpet.  The first year we helped clear out 1800 out of 2000 women, 400 transgenders, and another 800 men out of 2000 men (approximately) right out of the jails.  We were able to put another 100 women who were pregnant and HIV positive into an abandoned drug treatment program so they could also stay with their kids.  Our study done right before we came into the facility was that almost every one of these female prostitutes had an average of three children who were being put into foster care - costing the taxpayers even more money to incarcerate them.  While it was costing the county about $150 a day to incarcerate a prostitute, it was costing another $2000 a month per child who was now left without a mother, not counting the later cost to society for being torn from their mother in this manner.  

Our work was so successful, it was first duplicated in Allentown, PA with the "Program for Female Offenders".  Once again, we were able to save the county well over $1,000,000 which was then channeled into social welfare programs for the elderly and children in need.  Many of the people who came through our system back then, got degree's and were soon working within the system helping others.  

It was our work which led to the creation of the Trafficking Act of 2000.  The reason why we did this was because these people were being denied any financial assistance from Victim's services because they were viewed only as "criminals" back then.  The hope was if they were instead also viewed as "victims" in the cases where they were, then we could stop shelling out money out of our pockets.  By the year 2000 I had personally shelled out over $400,000 and was working night and day to cover the things these women needed to get working again - things like uniforms, an ID card, proper shoes, books, license fees, etc.

You brought up a valid point I wanted to validate.  That about employer's "not able to hire them with a record".  Well yes and no.  I say that because there is a list of employer's who will openly hire not only criminals, but also felons.  What we did in our work was get them these lower jobs at these companies who list among them companies such as Walmart, Target, Olive Garden, etc.  The women by themselves wouldn't be open with them about their record, but we would encourage them.  We would emphasize this was just a year out of their lives we needed them to take these types of jobs.  While in them, we'd also encourage them to get enrolled in school.  Those companies also help their employees with school.

At the end of about a year, we would then go to the courts with their employment record, housing record, a letter from a local pastor, minister, rabbi or monk (depending upon their religion), along with their sponsor and we'd informally appeal to the court to expunge their record.  

We would then show the court where they were wanting to go, and how this record would hinder them from this goal, and appeal to them for a record expungement based upon the "circumstances".  I say that because we have always acknowledged not every prostitute is a "victim" of force or "force of poverty".  Even the Bible allows theft when you're starving AS LONG AS you then "pay it back seven fold", or in our language "make an amends". 

Well we soon found we were on everyone's wrong side.  First, there was the revision to Immigration policy done by Clinton in 1996.  Suddenly, the system is now requiring 35,000 inmates to be in beds at any given point in time so that an illegal immigrant can have a bed.  Well what's the fastest, and cheapest way to fill up a jail cell?  A prostitution sting of course.  

The problem was back in the 1990's, the "john's program" I was helping to put together which was also very effective because it was being done in partnership with Sexaholics Anonymous and the National Council on Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, was building to offer them the same as the alcoholic and addict we were taking advantage of.  Sex addiction IS a disease and they require treatment also.  You don't stop anyone using the law - we learned that during Prohibition I thought.  

The next thing we know grants are flying out of the Hunt Foundation to create "end demand" programs which are really a very cleverly worded way of busting johns the same old way they've been throughout history.  Only you just call the arresting now "deterring demand" is all.  Voila!  You now can go out in one night and pull yourself in anywhere from 30 to 50 men who can't afford an attorney or they wouldn't have been out trying to pick up a $20 hooker.   

You avoid patrons of prostitutes like Celese Guap who use the internet and charge more money - patrons who number among them cops and who are being trafficked by cops also.  Just as I was back in the 1980's and why I created our hotline in the first place - because someone who is being trafficked is also having the local police involved and therefore can't call 911.  Neither can they call the National Trafficking Hotline either because if you look - you'll see they just refer them right back to their traffickers.  If you don't know what I mean by that - you can google names like Joohon David Lee or Chris Butler.

Counties found they could also make MORE money by BUILDING bigger jails.  Okay how do you do that?  Well you overstuff the ones you have, that's how.  Suddenly, we're getting less and less referrals and we're not being asked anymore to set up "formal" alternative sentencing programs in the USA anymore.  We thought this would all change when the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed giving sex trafficking federal recognition, but that victory was short-lived.  By 2002, Randall Tobias came in and took all of that money and transferred it to "faith based groups" only, all of who our history had shown universally failed when it came to working with prostitutes.  Now why would you want to fund failure?

I'll tell you why.  Because in 2003, after this had passed, every meeting of our program which was being held at every Salvation Army or Catholic Charity across the USA at this point in time was banned from their property.  Everyone of our members who worked for them in some capacity like "outreach", was fired.  Women we had been working with were all booted right out of the program.  It was a house-cleaning and I had no idea why.  If we had been ineffective, I'd understand.  Then I saw the grant applications going out asking for money to hire people to do what we'd been doing for free and then I understood.  Didn't mean it would work however.  Because again we were doing this because we found our community didn't respond to any workers who had not "been there" themselves.  So suddenly we now have nowhere to hold meetings, and I've got 1/2 of our fellowship now out of a job.  My phone took off that year so hard I literally had a stroke by July.  I then spent a few years after this going in and out of the ICU and it took me a few more years just to get back on my feet. 

Our program survived, and then the witchunts truly began in 2008.  I was approached by the Hunt people directly and asked to help them prepare a report for the State Dept.  I was offered a job paying me $120,000 a year if I helped them with this report, with another $10,000 given as a grant once I helped them complete the report.  Boy I should have learned pimps come in all forms but like an idiot I opened up our doors, let them see how we operated, talk to our members, and basically learn how we did things including finding trafficking victims who needed our help, how we would rescue them, as well as how we helped them to not be taken back by the traffickers.  I was then asked to give an "opinion on an outside issue" from the podium of this press conference you can read about at www.hightechmadam.com  Since I run a 12 step program I can't make statements like that "officially" so I refused.  To punish me for that, I've now been officially "blacklisted".  Not a surprise since the same people who did this to me also had done the same to Bill Wilson and Jimmy Kinnon before me.  They also had found their programs "taken over" by for profit interests also.  

Which is what then happened.  A group out of Chicago called CAASE then tried to duplicate our work with their "spin" on it against my wishes through things like Project Rose, Division 17, and 10 others.  Only they were attaching our name, our reputation, our literature, without my consent.  I stood back a while to see how and what they'd do with it and the results were more rounding up of women of color to fill jail beds, which forcing them to finger their fathers as their "traffickers" or else risk losing their kids permanently to CPS custody.  I came in with a "cease and desist" letter and these groups folded.  They folded because you can't run a program for prostitutes without Prostitutes Anonymous.  

Now I see things being kicked about about "releasing non-violent offenders" which happen to be mostly our community, only once again with a different name.  We've gone from "prostitute" to "trafficking victim" to now "non-violent offender".  These are mostly women who can't afford an attorney to go back and expunge their records in a year, or 10 years.  Especially when they're not only not getting our help to get work, but are further not able to find work simply because they are part of our program.  Oh yes once the witch hunt started against our program, if you even mentioned you were going to contact our program for help in any way you found yourself fired.  Why?  Again I point to names such as Celeste Guap and Joohon David Lee.  Because there's just too many people right now in the system who are the traffickers themselves - that's why.  They want this community stuck with a rotating work force that lasts about six months who has come from such a privileged life they don't believe in such things.  

You tell me how I'm supposed to fight this back.  I've love to hear any ideas you have.  I say that because every reporter I speak to tells me they have been told in one way or another if they even mention our name, my name, or anything to do with us they'll be fired on the spot.  Many have already for insisting upon it.  Another reason for this has been the fraud that's been running around for a few years behind the show "8 Minutes".  This show was running all over the country claiming Kevin Brown and Greg Reese were "running a rescue" only it was all a staged hoax.  Even Polaris admits they didn't give them consent to use their phone number.  Didn't matter because it was only flushing out calls from victims right back to the very police who were trafficking them in the first place - not to our hotline which is set up to address this sad fact.  

They know we don't have federal grants or fund raisers to have resources to also do things like fly down to Washington, DC to appear on shows like "On the Contrary".  Nor are our Washington, DC members willing to go on TV for fear of losing their jobs they have now.  These pleas are pleas to monetize the work we offer for free, all while refusing to hire our members for fear then people will say "well why are we paying you when they'll do it for free".  I mean why pay Polaris another $2,000,000 to set up a hotline in your state when you have our hotline answering calls for free now in the same area?  Since the wife of Polaris is the same women who issues all of the federal grants at the moment, no one is going to stand up to them or rock the boat for our sake that's for sure.  

Anyway, you brought up a valid point which in my mind just solidifies why a program like ours is more needed than ever because we address that issue for employers.  Well used to before our chapter leaders started reporting being threatened to the point where we're now like NA was back in the 1950's, having to hold secret meetings for fear of harm or arrest.  You see the traffickers, the real traffickers, want the system to fail so they can keep applying for grant money, all while enjoying not having anyone truly interfere with their operations which we gunk up those works.   The "house cleaning" we're experiencing is no different then when they did the same to Narcotics Anonymous in the 1990's - getting rid of anyone who objected to the use of medical marijuana in an addict's clean time.  That's when they chased Jimmy, their founder, out of the office, and also anyone who even knew who Jimmy was.  Now you have 80 % of an NA meeting now on antidepressants and medical marijauana.  Great for the treatment programs, counselors, and the pharmaceutical companies, but bad for the addict.  

If you'd like to talk about this more, I can be reached at (702) 488-1127.  Because I've reached a point where I'm about to leave for Canada.  They have enough sense to be embracing our program at the moment at least.  
Jody Williams
(702) 488-1127 Cell Phone

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