In more than 235 U.S. cities and counties, arrested sex buyers can be ordered to perform community service as a condition of a sentence or a diversion program. Service might include such activities as cleaning streets where prostitution is known to occur. For most people sentenced on charges related to buying sex from adults, community service obligations range from four to 250 hours, and are usually coupled with other sanctions such as fines, fees, probation, and/or completion of “john school” education or treatment programs. For those arrested for paying to sexually abuse minors, the charges are far more serious felony-level offenses, and diversion options are usually not applicable – although fines, fees, and community service may be applied as mandatory conditions of sentences, in addition to terms of incarceration and/or probation.
To learn more about this intervention and how it has been implemented, please see our Tactic Summary document (March, 2023) as well as the links to resources provided below. You may also locate where in the United States that this tactic has been used by visiting Demand Forum’s mapping or listing function, and selecting from the list of tactics. By clicking on each of the cities and counties listed or mapped, you may access brief summaries of the implementation of each tactic in that community, and links to source documentation.
Study Finds 10 Percent of Sex Buyers Sentenced to Community Service in Denver
- Morris et al. (2012). Prostitution and Denver’s Criminal Justice System: Who Pays?
Municipal Ordinance on Prostitution Authorizing Community Service as Punishment
News Reports Addressing Community Service for Sex Buyers
- Aurora, CO:
- Aurora, IL:
- Columbiana County, OH
- municipal-court (2022)
- columbiana-county-municipal (2023)
- Eau Claire County, WI
- Marshall, MN:
- New York, NY:
- Rochester, NY:
- Shelburne, VT:
- Windsor Locks, CT: