877-776-2004 Ext 555 swopbehindbars@gmail.com

Be An Ally

You can get involved with SWOP Behind Bars on a local or national level.

What Is an Ally?

An ally can be a current or former sex worker that wants to help other sex workers. An ally can also be a friend, a family member, a financial donor, or another social justice organization.

 

Donate

You can Donate money, funds for scholarships, used phones, books, GED study guides, and more!

Volunteer for SBB

Volunteer to staff the community support hotline or do administrative work for SBB. We have projects going on in all 50 states and there lots of things you can do remotely. Please let us know how you can get involved here! 

” 

Support the National Sex Worker Bail Fund

Adult consensual sex workers are targeted for arrest in the United States under the guise of fighting human trafficking.  No matter how many time theses efforts are proven to be harmful or ineffective, the myths and misconceptions persist. We are proud to introduce our National Sex Worker Bail Out Fund to bond sex workers out of jail.  We are following the principles of the National Bail Fund Network and are proud to align our shared vision of ending money bail and pre-trial detention.  SWOP Behind Bars will begin our work with local bond funds throughout the United States to bond adult sex workers out of jail who are arrested on prostitution related charges surrounding events where anti trafficking organizations and law enforcement make false claims of increasing sex trafficking. We will connect to local attorneys and the public defenders office to provide information and education around the subject of sex work intersecting with sex trafficking and use their networks, as well as community based networks, to provide services and support for the people we free from cages.  The SWOP Behind Bars bail fund will make every effort to bond sex workers out of jail by directly paying the full amount of the bond directly to the court so that their fines and court fees will be paid upon resolution of the case.  In cases where we are not able to pay bond directly, we will use a licensed bonding agent to free our people.  Sex workers who are trans, gender non-conforming and people of color will be prioritized.  In cases where sex workers are charged with additional charges unrelated to sex work, we will consult with local advocates and activists within the National Bail Network to determine how we move forward.

Like National Bail Fund Network, we believe that the work of community bail and bond funds should:

1. Be committed to a goal of ending money bail and pretrial detention, with a clear focus
on decarceration and confronting current racial and class disparities. Different jurisdictions are in different phases of ending money bail, so what campaigns look like place to place may be different (examples include: jail closures, policy changes, and enforcement of system changes).

2. We believe that bail and bond funds should be connected to jail/prison abolition work broadly as well as to specific local campaigns to end money bail (in the criminal context) and pretrial detention (in both criminal and immigration contexts). We are working to establish additional core principles specific to the larger work to end immigration detention.

3. Be accountable to impacted communities.
To be positioned as a community-based bail or bond fund, we believe that there must be clarity and transparency about the role community plays, what accountability looks like, and how directly impacted communities and formerly and currently incarcerated individuals’ voices are represented.

4. Be in collaboration with larger movement work against mass criminalization and incarceration. Although the direct focus of a bail or bond fund may be ending money bail and pretrial detention, we believe that bail and bond funds should be clear about how their work relates to the movement to end mass criminalization and incarceration in general.

5. Have criteria that reflect the fund’s goals and do not perpetuate dichotomies around who is deserving versus undeserving, whether based on type of charge or other factors that reinforce biases within the system and pit those targeted by the system against one another. We believe that bail and bond funds should be clear about the basis of their payment criteria as well as who established the criteria. This requires transparency around how the criteria will avoid perpetuating good/bad or deserving/undeserving dichotomies and how it is tied to clear and accountable goals. We also believe it is important that funds are clear about whether funders or other system actors are playing a role in setting a bail or bond fund’s criteria.

6. Have an analysis about how to address the needs of individuals for support services beyond payment of bail or bond. Paying bail or bond cannot be a completely discrete action. We believe that bail and bond funds must develop clarity around how they will confront additional issues beyond bail payment that will influence pretrial freedom, e.g. the payment of fines, fees, restitution and connections to support services and community-based resources. We believe that bail and bond funds should position their work within the larger conversation about building new community-based solutions outside of the criminal legal and immigration detention systems.

7. Have clarity about their position within the system they are trying to dismantle.
Bail and bond funds often end up having to coordinate with the same system they are trying to dismantle as they pay bail or bond to free individuals. We believe that funds should develop an analysis on how they will navigate this and, specifically, where their limits are (e.g. will bail and bond funds accept different treatment than individuals in the system to facilitate their operations). In jurisdictions where the system itself wants to provide funding or operate its own bail or bond f

 

Be a Penpal

Sign up to be a penpal or mentor-by-mail for incarcerated sex workers. Getting mail is one of the greatest things that can happen while a person is incarcerated!  A lot of incarcerated folks have been cut off from family and friends and they get very little in the way of outside information

Be sure to follow these rules:

  • Do not use stickers or glitter on mail.
  • Do not use gel pens.
  • Use plain white paper only, lined or unlined.
  • Do not use greeting cards as many facilities do not accept them.
  • You may use colored pencisl, markers, or ink stamps.
  • Write the recipient’s name, DOC number, and address on the letter as well as the envelope.
  • Do not use your return address. Use: SWOP BEHIND BARS ATTN (Your name/organIzation) 340 South Lemon, Walnut, CA, 91789

Please understand that not all persons identify as ‘sex workers’. Respect their privacy and do not solicit their story or the details of their arrest.

For a detailed how-to on sending mail, watch this slideshow.

Mail to Incarcerated Sex Workers

 

Host a Holiday Letter Writing Party

Each passing holiday behind bars marks another season that incarcerated people are unable to be with the ones they love. Fill that space this Valentine’s Day, Kwanza,  Christmas or holdiay of your choice by sending letters of love and support. Sending greetings to acknowledge Pride month is also a great idea. Use letter-writing parties to bring your friends, coworkers, or fellow community activists together.

Sign up here and let us know how many holiday letters you want to send!

Please follow these rules:

  • Do not use stickers or glitter on mail.
  • Do not use gel pens.
  • Use plain white paper only, lined or unlined.
  • Do not use greeting cards as many facilities do not accept them.
  • You may use colored pencils, markers, or ink stamps.
  • Write the recipient’s name, DOC number, and address on the letter as well as the envelope.
  • Do not retain lists of names and addresses and contiue to use them as this info changes quickly.
  • Do not use your return address. Use: SWOP BEHIND BARS ATTN (Your name/organIzation) 340 South Lemon, Walnut, CA, 91789
  • Please understand that not all persons identify as ‘sex workers’. Respect their privacy and do not solicit their story or the details of their arrest.

For a detailed how-to on sending mail, watch this slideshow.

Invite SBB to Speak

Invite SBB to present at your conference or symposium.  Our speakers’ bureau is professional and affordable and can train your group on harm reduction, sex worker -led street outreach, sexual harassment in the sex trade, and other powerful subject areas. Inquire at swopbehindbars@gmail.com

Educate Yourself about Sex Worker Rights

Here are some great websites, books, and blogs to get you started. Also, be sure to tune in to our own SBB blog often for more links like these.

 

  • This Is How We Rise blog: “My story of prosecution, incarceration, and recovery from incarceration”, Amber Batts of Alaska.
  • COYOTE RI website: a wealth of quantitative and qualitative information on sex work and sex trafficking. 
  • Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition (Oxford Historical Monographs), by Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema
  • Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • I Heart Sex Workers: A Christian Response to People in the Sex Trade, by Lia Claire Scholl
  • Negotiating Sex Work – Unintended Consequences of Advocacy and Activism, by Carisa R. Showden and Samantha Majic 
  • Playing The Whore: The Work of Sex Work, by Mellisa Gira Grant
  • Prose and Lore: Issue 3: Memoir Stories About Sex Work (Volume 3), by Audacia Ray
  • Sex Work Matters: Exploring Money, Power and Intimacy in the Sex Industry, by Melissa Hope Ditmore, Antonia Levy and Alys Willman
  • Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry, by Frédérique Delacoste and Asa Akira
  • Street Sex Workers’ Discourse: Realizing Material Change Through Agential Choice (Routledge Research in Gender and Society), by Jill McCracken
  • The Autobiography of a Sex Worker, by Nalini Jameela
  • The Lost Sisterhood: Prostitution in America, 1900-1918, by Ruth Rosen
  • When Sex Becomes Work: Everything That Everyone Should Know About Sex Work, by Mariska Majoor and Petra Timmermans
  • Women, Race, & Class, by Angela Y. Davis
     
     
Distribute KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Info

Our Sponsors