This chapter introduces the criminal justice–social services alliance, a punitive-therapeutic confederation of federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies and state, municipal, or independent nonprofit social services entities. The diverse bodies and individuals comprising the alliance are united by a cultural ethos characterized by the belief that street-based prostitution and illicit drug use are inherently harmful to women, who require sociolegal intervention and subsequent demonstration of their readiness to express accountability for their life circumstances. Encounters between street-involved women and alliance professionals take place within the context of systemic intimacy, a paradoxical relationship between individuals who belong to oppositional social groups and who consequently must assess one another’s motivations and inner states as they go about the daily business of making a living. This chapter also presents a review of the research methods employed as well as associated ethical considerations, and a chapter overview.
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