John School

John schools are education and/or programs for men arrested for buying sex, and have been launched in more than 70 cities (and serve over 150 cities and counties) in the U.S. The programs can be structured as a sentencing option and mandatory participation can be combined with other criminal sanctions, or may be offered as a diversion option, resulting in reduced penalties or dismissed charges. John schools can be one-day education 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.  In addition to on-site classroom participation, 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

News Reports on Early Education Programs for Sex Buyers

News Reports on Contemporary John Schools

News Reports on John Schools