In a reversal, New York City now supports the idea that police can use condom possession as evidence for prostitution charges, The New York Times reports. This seemingly contrasts with the fact that the city also gives away nearly 37 million condoms a year. Beginning at least three years ago, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene began collecting information on police confiscation of condoms from people in the commercial sex trade, and on whether the practice discouraged condom use. A year ago, the health department supported state legislation to ban using condom possession as evidence  prostitution, and to “reduce all legislative barriers to condom use.” The city has reversed its support and refused to release its study of sex workers and condom confiscation. A health department spokesperson said the report showed that the current law didn’t cause a sufficient number of sex workers to not carry condoms. About 2,000 people a year are arrested on prostitution charges in New York, and most quickly plead guilty.

To read the Times article, click here.