Caddo Parish is located in northwest Louisiana, on the west side of the Red River, across the river from Bossier City. It has a population of about 250,000 people, most of which (218,000) reside in Shreveport, the third-largest city in Louisiana, and the county seat. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems throughout the county.
To address the issues, Caddo Parish deputies frequently collborate with officers form municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and focus on demand-side tactics targeting sex buyers. The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office has conducted web-based and street level reverse stings. The names, ages, and addresses of those arrested for soliciting prostituted women are reported in local news outlets, along with details of how the stings were conducted. For example, in November 2017, police arrested 57 people as part of an initiative targeting prostitution in Caddo Parish. The men were booked into Shreveport City Jail and/or the Caddo Correctional Center, and their names, ages, and home towns were released to the public. In the operation dubbed Slick John, Caddo Parish authorities teamed with Shreveport police. In the operaiton a man was also charged with child sex trafficking, a trafficking victims was rescued, and two vehicles, drugs, and firearms were seized.
Street-level reverse stings were first implemented in 1986 within the Parish, and in Shreveport have been conducted as frequently as three to six times per month. Operations typically employ the use of one or more undercover female officers, who serve as decoys. When johns attempt to solicit sex from the women, they are arrested. A reverse sting occurring in March, 2013 resulted in the arrest of seven johns whose photos, names, home towns, and dates of birth were released to the media. In these operations, the SPD frequently collaborates with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, and officers from neighboring Bossier City. Web-based reverse stings were first conducted in the Parish in 2005.
In June 2012, Shreveport and Bossier City police participated in the FBI’s Operation Cross Country VI, a three-day sweep of individuals suspected to be engaged in the sex trafficking of minors. Of the 104 people arrested, 30 were apprehended in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. Law enforcement officials suspect the city’s location– situated along Interstate 20, on the state’s border with Texas and Arkansas– has led to its use for sex trafficking operations.
In 2013, the Louisiana John School program was launched which covers the Caddo and Bossier Parish areas. The program activity is located in Shreveport, and described on that DemandForum page, but accepts referrals from Bossier City and other communities throughout Louisiana.
An excerpt from the program’s home page:
“Louisiana John School is a diversion or sentencing/probation condition program for people arrested for soliciting the services of a Commercial Sex Worker. As a comprehensive public health program the John School will address issues to include violence associated with prostitution, the link between prostitution and addiction, and the public health implications of the same. Offered to first time offenders and habitual offenders, classes range from a single one day course to several courses over several sessions. The single one day class is an eight-hour program offered on Saturdays only which features speakers and presentations on the above referenced topics. The multiple sessions class components of John School vary with greater specificity and intensity with each charge.”
The program is open to self-referrals and non-criminal-justice referrals, as well as accepting men arrested in reverse stings who attend as part of a diversion program or sentence. Louisiana Law requires all persons convicted of Prostitution shall be referred for counseling concerning AIDS (Louisiana RS 14:82), and the program provides health counseling and expands the education topics to other areas. The program is open to persons charged and/or convicted of:
- Soliciting for Prostitutes
- Inciting Prostitution
- Promoting Prostitution
- Prostitution by Massage
First time offenders convicted of Soliciting the Services of Prostitutes or any of the above referenced charges are eligible to attend the One Day Course as part of their pre/post sentencing. Non-Violent Offenders charged with Soliciting the Services of a Prostitute or any of the above referenced charges are eligible to attend in preparation of defense work for pre-trial disposition. Habitual Offenders: Non-Violent Offenders convicted of two or more charges for Soliciting the Services of a Prostitute or any of the above referenced charges are eligible to attend the John School Recovery Skills Program as part of their pre/post sentencing or probation. Length and terms of condition of John School Recovery Skills Program is based upon case by case evaluation and assessment results. To publicize the program’s availability to those not in the criminal justice system, the program has advertised on Backpage.com. A Backpage ad from August 12, 2013 read as follows:
- Louisiana John School: Next Class Saturday August 24, 2013
- Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 4:18 PM
- Pre/Post Trial Education and Recovery Options for:
- Soliciting Prostitutes
- Inciting Prostitution
- Promoting Prostitution
- Prostitution by Massage
- Pre/Post Sentencing Education and Treatment Option
Street-Level Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “8 Booked in Crackdown”, Baton Rouge Advocate, August 24 1986.
- “Ten Arrested in Prostitution Operation”, Baton Rouge Advocate, August 27 1994.
- “Police Target Neighborhood”, Baton Rouge Advocate, March 18 2000.
- “Joint Reverse Sting Operation Nets 14 Arrests”, Press Release, Shreveport Police Department, February 2 2001.
- “Police Conduct Prostitution Operation”, Press Release, Shreveport Police Department, March 26 2004.
- “Shreveport Police Vice Squad Cracks Down on Prostitution”, Shreveport Times, May 29 2004.
- “Sting Nets 14 Arrests”, Shreveport Times, November 11 2004.
- “Police: Juror Needs Time to Get Well”, Shreveport Times, April 6 2006.
- “More than a Dozen Arrested in Shreveport Vice Sting Operations”, CBS/KSLA-TV 12, March 18 2013.
Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Cops Taking Action against Prostitution with Technology”, CBS/KSLA-TV 12, April 25 2014.
- http://www.kltv.com/story/36740817/longview-doctor-charged-with-soliciting-prostitution-in-slick-john-sting (2017)
- https://www.myarklamiss.com/news/local-news/shreveport-prostitution-stings-lands-more-than-50-people-behind-bars/ (2017)
- “Program to Stop Solicitors Starts in Shreveport-Bossier”, ABC/KTBS-TV 3, May 22 2013.
- “Shreveport Police: Zero Tolerance for Prostitution”, ABC/KTBS-TV 3, September 20 2013.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Arrests Made in Underage Prostitution Sting”, CBS/KSLA-TV 12, June 25 2012.
- “3 Juveniles Recovered, 16 Pimps, 76 Prostitutes Arrested in Sex Trafficking Operation”, FOX/WXIX-TV 19, June 24 2014.
- “Killeen-Area Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking a Minor”, ABC/KXXV-TV 25, July 18 2014.
- “Shreveport Police Make Human Trafficking Arrest”, Shreveport Times, October 8 2014.
- “Two Adults, One Juvenile Busted for Human Trafficking, Prostitution,” NBC/KTAL-TV 6, December 18 2014.
- “Texan Pleads Guilty to Juvenile Prostitution,” Brownsville Herald, October 9 2015.
- “Three Jailed, Baby Removed, in Prostitution Sting,” Shreveport Times, March 17 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area: