Vice Squad
Monday, May 31, 2004
Prostitution Arrests in Texas

The constant toll of arrests caused by our prohibitions on some drugs and prostitution is almost benumbing. In the case of prostitution, we arrest more than 1,000 people a week, embarrass them via the accompanying news stories, and perhaps even intentionally embarrass them by putting their pictures on the web or on "John TV." Police officers and public school teachers arrested for soliciting lose their jobs. Is any of this necessary? How is it that other countries, perfectly fine countries like Britain and Switzerland and Germany, can get by without the full-scale criminalization of prostitution?

Today we look at Texas, where police departments have scored major victories against prostitution this past week. In Conroe, Texas, 5 men and 3 women were arrested on Wednesday for prostitution-related offenses. In Houston, a two-day sting netted 55 arrests, including 15 women "suspected of being prostitutes." In Waco, 28 men fell into a prostitution sting:
Half of the 28 solicitors taken into custody, called "Johns," went to jail.

The other half qualified for Waco P.D.'s new John program.

The Waco P.D. is the first law enforcement agency in Texas to initiate what is called a John School.

If a John has no violent criminal history, he is eligible to participate in the school without being arrested.

At the school, former prostitutes and Johns speak to the class about how they were affected by prostitution.

Also beginning next week, the Waco P.D. will post Johns' pictures on the Waco city website.

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