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 70 cities in the U.S., and serve over 140 cities and counties. In addition, widely available versions of john schools can be accessed from any location as online courses or as a recorded 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
  • Links and distinctions between prostitution and human trafficking

Variations on the one-time classroom model include:

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:  The Nashville John School:  Risk Deterrence and the Reintegrative Shaming Approach.  Valenzuela, R.M.  (2013).
  • 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:
  • Summary of John School Programs, Report by the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation:
  • 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:
  • 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