Orange County, NY

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Orange County, NY is located about 60 miles north of New York City near Poughkeepsie, hand has a population of about 375,000.  Prostitution and sex trafficking have posed significant problems within the county for at least four decades. Among the more serious problems was the murder of a prostituted woman, and sex trafficking of children. Relatively routine street prostitution has driven complaints to policy by local businesses and residents.

In response to all of these issues, police have attempted to combat the consumer level demand that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking, conducting reverse stings, both web-based and street-level.  A recent example occurred in June, 2018, in which three men were arrested during a Hudson Valley prostitution operation conducted by a task force comprised of several law enforcement departments, including officers from the City of Newburgh Police Department, Orange County Drug Task Force, and New York State Police. During the sting, four women were arrested and charged with prostitution and three men were arrested for patronizing a prostitute. All of the men were also released on their own recognizance with future court dates.

The County has a john school program that has been in place since 2004. The john school operates as an element of the Community Prosecution Initiative in the District Attorney’s Office, and is required for all defendants charged with patronizing prostitutes. This program is designed as a “deterrent effort” directed at those who patronize prostitutes.  The school is a county-wide program designed for non-violent offenders who have been arrested for soliciting prostituted women. Since it’s inception, more than 100 people have completed the program.

Since at least May 1981, Newburgh Police have used shaming tactics to deter johns. In an article posted in the Newburgh Evening News, members of media supported this decision, noting that “for too long, only women were identified in prostitution arrests while men accused in these cases remained anonymous.”  Those arrested in reverse stings routinely have their identities disclosed on news released by the Orange County Sheriff’s office and the Newburgh Police Department.



Key Partners

  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department
  • Orange County District Attorney’s Office
  • Orange County Drug Task Force
  • City of Newburgh Police Department
  • Clarkstown Police Department
  • Rockland County District Attorney’s Office
  • New York State Police

Key Sources



State New York
Type County
Population 376405
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