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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 198007 Find in a Library
Title: Vice Lessons: A Survey of Prostitution Offenders Enrolled in the Toronto John School Diversion Program
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:44  Issue:4  Dated:October 2002  Pages:369-402
Author(s): Scot Wortley; Benedikt Fischer; Cheryl Webster
Date Published: October 2002
Page Count: 34
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article describes and reports on an evaluation of the Toronto (Canada) John School Diversion Program, an alternative sentencing strategy for the male clients of female prostitutes who have been charged with an offense under Section 213 of the Canadian Criminal Code.
Abstract: In 1985 a law was passed in Canada that made it an offense to engage the services of a prostitute. In the early 1990's, several political and law enforcement representatives from Toronto proposed the adoption of the American model of "John School" as a diversion program for male clients of prostitutes who had been arrested for a first-time offense. Upon entering a guilty plea, these offenders are diverted into a 1-day educational program that focuses on the social harms caused by the sex trade. Upon successful completion of the education session, the initial prostitution charge is dropped and no criminal record is generated. This strategy is based on the expectation that the information provided by the program will cause the offender to cease the use of street prostitutes. Findings from a preprogram and post-program survey of John School participants (n=366) show that the program is somewhat effective in achieving some of its primary objectives. After completing the program, participants are more likely to accept responsibility for their actions, more likely to admit that they might have a sex addiction, and are less likely to report favorable attitudes toward prostitution. There is also evidence of significant post-program improvement in the participants' knowledge of Canadian prostitution law, along with an increased awareness of both the victims and dangers related to the sex trade. After completing the program, a sizeable majority of the participants stated that they would cease purchasing sexual services from a prostitute; however, 1 out of 10 participants indicated that he would continue to use prostitutes in the future. This article concludes with a discussion of the potential benefits and problems associated with the John School Program. 1 figure, 7 tables, 22 notes, and 26 references
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries; Diversion programs; Education; Prostitution; Treatment techniques
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