Beatryce Hall was arrested for prostitution 32 times in 17 years. She has been in and out of prison 11 times since 2001. That’s the year a Texas law went into effect that allows prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony and send them to prison after three misdemeanor prostitution convictions. But now, with more than 350 prostitutes in the state prison system, lawmakers are reconsidering their options.
Today we’re hearing that some Texas state officials want community-based programs to receive more support. It costs $18,538 to house a convict in state prison for a year, but $4,300 a year for community strategies that provide substance abuse treatment, group therapy, life skills coaching, and help with job searches and places to live.