Legislation that would create prostitution-free zones in communities throughout Prince George’s County is moving forward in the county council.
The legislation, introduced this week by Councilwoman Andrea Harrison (D-Dist. 5), would authorize Prince George’s County Police to declare prostitution-free zones that would make it unlawful for two or more people to gather in a public space or property with the intent of engaging in prostitution.
The county’s chief of police would be allowed to create these zones in areas with high numbers of arrests or calls related to prostitution or prostitution-related offenses. Zones will only exist for up to 480 hours, and violators of the law could be fined up to $1,000 and face up to six month in jail.
During the summer, Harrison communities in her district, which includes Bladensburg, Cheverly, Edmonston, Fairmount Heights, Glenarden, Landover, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Mitchellville. At the time, Harrison said laws needed to be tightened to discourage repeat offenders.
“The problem seems to be with not being able to keep those individuals in jail. The punishment is not punitive; they’re doing it over and over again,” she said. “We have a problem with people going to jail and not thinking much of it — they turn around and go again.”
A public hearing and final vote is scheduled for Nov. 15.