John School

“John schools” are programs for men arrested for buying sex focusing on education and/or therapeutic treatment, and the generic term covers a broad range of content, delivery modes, and how the programs fit within justice system options for sanctioning and educating offenders.  In-person programs have been established in more than 70 locations in the United States, and have served at least 230 cities and counties. John schools can be structured as a condition of a criminal sentence, in which mandatory participation may be combined with other criminal sanctions, or may be offered as a diversion option, resulting in reduced penalties or dismissed charges if successfully completed. 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 sex buyers must pay (typically, about $400, and ranging from $0 to $1,500) 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, john schools can be accessed from any location as online courses or as a recorded presentation. At least five online versions of john school courses are available nationwide, and courts in jurisdictions without traditional programs may choose to accept online courses to meet sentencing or diversion requirements.

A typical curriculum includes these topics:

  • Health consequences
  • Impact on communities
  • Impact on survivors
  • Crime victimization risks
  • Legal consequences

Other topics presented in john schools include:

  • Male development, decision making, and responsibility
  • Developing and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Anger management
  • Human trafficking
  • Dynamics of pimping
  • Sexual addiction
  • Impact on spouses and children

Variations on the one-time classroom model include:

Overview of John School Programs in the U.S.

To find U.S. sites that have employed this tactic, visit our locations page.

To help start, improve or sustain a john school, access the resources provided below.

Seattle, WA

Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS)

The Lantern Project

    • Men’s Accountability Program

Kansas City, KS & Kansas City, MO

Veronica’s Voice

Modeling Equality & Veronica’s Voice (program is modeled after SSE: a Program for Men, Seattle, WA)

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 and Overviews: Contemporary John Schools

News Reports on John Schools