John School

John schools are education programs for men arrested for buying sex. The schools can be structured as a sentencing option and combined with other criminal sanctions, or as a diversion program, resulting in dismissed charges. John schools can be one-day classes or designed as multiple-session counseling programs. The programs are financed by the fees or fines that the arrested johns must pay (typically, about $400) for soliciting sex. The fees or fines usually cover all program costs, and often produce excess revenue used to fund survivor recovery programs.  John schools are currently located in over 55 cities in the U.S., and serve over 100 cities and counties (john schools also operate in at least 35 locations in England and Canada, and another 35+ sites in South Korea), and widely available versions of john schools can be accessed as online courses or as a DVD presentation.

A typical curriculum includes these topics:

  • Health consequences
  • Impact on communities
  • Impact on survivors (testimony from women who have been trafficked or prostituted)
  • Victimization risks and impact on johns
  • Legal consequences

Other topics presented in john schools include:

  • Male development, decision making, and responsibility
  • Developing and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Anger management
  • Sex trafficking
  • Dynamics of pimping
  • Sex addiction
  • Impact on spouses and children
  • Link between pornography, prostitution, and human trafficking

Variations on the one-time classroom model include:

  • Multiple individual or group counseling sessions (e.g., Salt Lake City, UT)
  • A video john school in which a DVD is presented to arrested johns while they await processing (Cook County, IL)
  • Online versions of john schools (Logan Social Services, based in Murfreesboro, TN; Life Wisdom Foundation)
  • A “roadside john school,” involved a condensed presentation given to men suspected of soliciting but who were not arrested (Tucson, AZ ; 1998-1999)

Overview of John School Programs in the U.S.

To find U.S. sites which have employed this tactic, visit our locations page.

To help start, improve or sustain a john school, access the resources provided below. Some materials are also available in Spanish.

Overview of John Schools in the U.S.

Summary of Key Traits of U.S. John Schools

Ordinances and State Laws Specifically Authorizing John Schools

John School Eligibility Criteria & Program Requirements

John School Referral Forms & Prosecution Agreements

Memorandum of Understanding Among John School Program Partners

John School Descriptions: Curricula, Agendas, Outlines

John School Class Handouts

John School Class Evaluations, Surveys, Reflection Forms

Offender Processing Schematics

John School Reports and Program Evaluations

 

  • Masters Thesis on Nashville John School
  • Evaluation of the Portland, Oregon John School Program:  Monto, M.A., & Garcia, S.  (2001). Recidivism among the customers of female street prostitutes:  Do intervention programs help?  Western Criminology Review, 3(2). Available at: http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v3n2/monto.html
  • Summary of John School Programs, Report by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation:  http://g.virbcdn.com/_f/files/2f/FileItem-149841-Johnsschoolreport.pdf
  • Sawyer, S., Simon Rosser, B.R., & Schroeder, A.  (1998). A brief psychoeducational program for men who patronize prostitutes.  Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 26 ¾:111-125.
  • Van Brunschot, E. (2003). Community policing and ‘John Schools.’  Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 40(2):215–232.
  • Wahab, S.  (2006). Evaluating the usefulness of a prostitution diversion projectQualitative Social Work, 5:67-92.
  • Wortley, S., Fischer, B., & Webster, C.  (2002). Vice lessons:  A survey of prostitution offenders enrolled in the Toronto John School diversion programCanadian Journal of Criminology.  October:369-402.
  • ECPAT-USA, Inc.  (2006). Schools for Johns: Addressing the Demand for Commercial Sex. Bangkok,Thailand: End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes.
  • Fresno Police Department.  Undated.  Project PAR:  Prostitution Abatement / Rehabilitation.  Fresno California.  Available at:  www.popcenter.org/Library/Goldstein/1999/99-20.PDF.
  • Kennedy, A., Klein, C., Gorzalka, B.B., & Yuille, J.C.  (2004). Attitude change following a diversion program for men who solicit sex.  Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.  40.5:41-60.
  • Report by the American Prosecutors Research Institute:  APRI Report – Unwelcome Guests.  A summary of the Indianapolis “Red Zone” john school begins on page 11.
  • Article by therapist operating a john school in Denver, 1999-2011:

     

News Reports on Early Education Programs for Sex Buyers

News Reports on Contemporary John Schools

News Reports on John Schools