This chapter argues that the criminal justice–social services alliance pathologizes women’s street-based sex trading and illicit drug use as individual responses to previous traumatic events and resulting flawed thought processes that encourage what alliance professionals often characterize as “high-risk behaviors.” This ideological position draws upon prevailing U.S. cultural norms and attendant structural forces regarding personal responsibility and appropriate gendered sexual behavior in characterizing particular aspects of street involvement, specifically homelessness, substance abuse, criminal justice system involvement, and interpersonal violence, as uniquely compounded and totalizing for women. Chapter subsections specifically address prevailing theoretical conceptualizations of risk in public health and the social sciences, quantitative data on the women’s demographic characteristics, women’s perspectives on their own occupational risks, and alliance professionals’ perspectives on the women’s, as well as their own, occupational risks.
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