Though it would still be considered at least a misdemeanor, Texas lawmakers are considering decriminalizing repeat offenses for selling or buying sex. Specifically, state law currently allows prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony after three misdemeanor convictions. When the Legistlature meets again in January 2013, lawmakers are now expected to consider dropping the felony-class charge for repeat prostitution offenders.
Part of the reason for this is money – housing a convict in state prison or a lower-security jail costs between $15,500 and $18,538 annually, whereas community-based rehabilitation programs carry an annual cost of about $4,300.
Texas may reconsider sending prostitutes to prison [via Houston Chronicle]