Minneapolis getting tougher on ‘Johns’
Minneapolis is making it crystal clear that prostitution will not be tolerated in the city. The City is now using electronic billboards and new prosecution standards to get tougher on those who solicit prostitution in Minneapolis. To make this happen, Clear Channel Communications has donated electronic billboard space in the city to send a clear message to would-be Johns: if you get caught soliciting prostitutes, your family, neighbors and coworkers will find out. The billboards feature a mugshot silhouette and a reminder that Minneapolis posts photos of people arrested for soliciting prostitutes on its website. The billboards also include a new Web address where the public can view those mug shots, www.johnspics.org.
The Minneapolis City Attorney’s office has also recently changed its prosecution standards to get tougher on Johns. City Attorneys now seek convictions on all those who solicit prostitutes in Minneapolis, including first-time offenders. Previously, Johns who were first-time offenders in Minneapolis would have to complete a restorative justice and education program as part of their probation to prevent a conviction from appearing on their record. Under the new plea standards, Johns will still have to complete a restorative justice and education program, but their criminal record will now include a conviction. Restorative justice programs work with criminals to understand the personal accountability of their crimes and how it impacts the community.
In addition to these new tactics, the Minneapolis Police Department will continue to conduct its regular and unannounced "John stings" in areas where prostitution has been a problem.
March 11, 2009
Published Mar. 11, 2009