Two recent items appeared in the Deseret News, seemingly unrelated, but on consideration, are very closely akin in nature. An apt editorial plea to rid the city of prostitution could well be repeated often. A Readers' Forum piece made a plea to keep Salt Lake Valley litter-free. Both are subjects we have with us perpetually, dealing with forms of waste. One is trash or litter. The other is throwing away oneself in at least one of three ways, as a prostitute, a pimp or a customer.
Freeing the streets of both kinds can only help provide for pleasurable cruising through our valley, without the certainty of being afflicted by what is undesirable, but above all, nonessential and unproductive to the welfare and contentment of all taxpaying citizens. Punishment for each violation should be suited to the crime. Certainly stiff fines that would be a hardship on those who litter would be called suitable. The second is more serious.If our jails are too full to accommodate lawbreakers, why then need we be so concerned about the comfort of those who willfully degrade our communities with permissive immorality? Why shouldn't cell capacities be doubled? Why must honest, law-abiding citizens need to extend themselves to provide unjustifiable care through tax dollars only to find violators have perhaps enjoyed their stay in jail, knowing they have been fed well and bedded in reasonable comfort, if indeed they have not been released to sin again before they experienced any punishment?
A sustained period of depravation and discomfort could do well to cause street people to feel the nagging nuisance of the law in their lives sufficient to encourage them to move on. Preferred, of course, would be for them to change their ways and join the happy, law-abiding, peace-loving citizens that vastly outnumber them, none of whom escape the stigma of their presence among us.
Some say it will be a natural consequence of the 2002 Olympic Games that we will have an influx of this filth and we just as well expect it. The world is told we have the finest snow on Earth. The world can also be told we are the toughest community with strictest punishment for prostitution.
Word could pass rapidly that Salt Lake City will not tolerate any who publicly perpetrate immorality. Further, if is shows its ugly head, it will find radically enforced punishment.
John E. Carr
Salt Lake City