Dallas County, TX

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Dallas County, is a county in the Northeastern region of Texas, known for being the second most populated county in the state with approximately 2.6 million residents. Due to the county’s location, prostitution and sex trafficking have been pervasive issues within Dallas County. Dallas County is a destination location in what is known as the Texas Triangle. The Texas Triangle is located in the heart of Texas, with the metro areas of Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio acting as the Triangle’s vertices. The three destination cities are connected through Interstate 35, Interstate 45, and Interstate 10. These highways are popular routes for travel as individuals can easily move between the highly populated cities for either business or leisure. Dallas County’s coverage of the city of Dallas and its position along major interstate corridors, such as Interstate 45, which runs from Houston to Dallas, significantly contribute to the amount of prostitution and sex trafficking activity within the county. Additionally, the sheer size of the area, crime is not an uncommon occurrence regarding prostitution, Dallas has used an assortment of programs and various tactics to combat demand. For example, in February of 2021, a child-sex trafficking investigation conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the Colleyville Police Department, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, resulted in the arrest a 33-year-old Dallas man as he left a hotel off of the LBJ Freeway in Dallas. According to reports, the sex trafficker had sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl and two other women in addition to physically assaulting them and depriving them of food and/or shelter. The sex trafficker was charged with one count of child sex trafficking and potentially faces a life sentence. The arrest was officially made by the ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and the North Texas Trafficking Task Force.

Additional demand reduction tactics have been implemented within the county, such as reverse stings, both street-level and web-based. For example, The Dallas Police Department has been conducting reverse stings since 1971. Police responses to prostitution are driven in part by persistent complaints by residents and businesses. For example, in 1974, Dallas Police officers arrested 19 male sex buyers in a reverse sting using female decoy officers. Like most areas that have focused on arresting commercial sex customers, the decision by police to focus on demand was a response to seeing no positive results from decades of arresting prostituted people, and the difficulty and relative rarity of arresting sex buyers and pimps/sex traffickers. Hundreds of reverse stings have been conducted over the past 40 years in Dallas and the greater DFW area, and they continue to occur in the city on a regular basis. Police interviewed for the National Assessment said reverse stings happen about once per month but can vary a great deal- less often when other priorities emerge, and more frequently when “hot-spots” emerge, or community complaints increase. Most of the operations have been street-level reverse stings, but the city also conducts web-based reversals. We do not know when the first operation occurred that used decoy ads posted on the internet by police, but web-based reversals appear to have been conducted by the Dallas PD for at least the past five years. For example, in September of 2013, Dallas Police augmented their web-based prostitution strategy by posting “warning” advertisements to Backpage.com, notifying sex buyers that they were under surveillance in an operation called “Operation Brick & Mortar.” For example, one decoy listing, contained the following message for those who clicked on the post:

“The Dallas Police, in an effort to fight the victimization and sexual exploitation of women and children through prostitution/human trafficking, has initiated several undercover operations on the Internet. Some ads will be a warning such as this one! Other ads will be real, in that the person you meet will be a real undercover police officer! You are not anonymous, and your location and IP address has just been logged.”

The web-based prostitution operation resulted in the arrest of over 40 male sex buyers between June 2012 and August 2013. More recently: in January, 2023, forty-six individuals were recently arrested during a multi-agency operation – that included the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office – targeting the demand for commercial sex across North Texas. The joint law enforcement operation coincided with the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to highlight Human Trafficking awareness month.  Among those arrested were a volunteer firefighter, youth pastor, a high school teacher and football coach, and the director of operations for a large hospital network in North Texas. About the operation, the Tarrant County Sheriff said:

“The victims of these heinous crimes are treated like commodities, used to make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. Those who traffic victims are the scourge of the earth, and we will continue to target those responsible for the trafficking and those who solicit sex from them.”

Additional tactics used to punish and deter sex buyers after they are arrested include public disclosure of sex buyer identities – which may be posted on the Dallas Police Department’s website or released to the media, a practice that began in Dallas in 2004. In 2020, in efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex within areas known for high rates of prostitution activity, the Dallas City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting unlawful cruising within designated areas. Individuals found to pass the same traffic control point in a no cruising zone three times within any two-hour time period, can face a fine of $500. Additionally, multiple john school programs have been established, with the first one having opened in 2005. There are also neighborhood organizations and collaborations between police and neighborhood groups that focus on targeting the demand for commercial sex.

John Schools

Dallas has had a john school program since 2005. In our National Assessment research, we received conflicting accounts about whether there have been two john schools in the city, or only one. At the time of the National Assessment research, we believed there to have been two john schools – the first a short-lived effort of the District Attorney’s Office, and the second a program that has run from later in 2005 through at least 2011. Since then, we have identified at least two additional john schools that are currently operating within Dallas County.

The District Attorney’s Office John School

According to interviews with two community prosecutors conducted for the National Assessment, the DA’s office launched a john school in Dallas in late 2005. Two john school classes were held in May and June, together having 30 participants, and then the program stopped operating. The reason given for the suspension of the program was that “a change in leadership occurred” where the program’s original champions moved on, and the program “slipped through the cracks.” The structure of the program can be summarized as follows:

The john school was used as either a diversion program or a sentencing option: Men could be routed to the class as a diversion option, resulting in dismissal of charges, or judges could decide to require attendance as a condition of a sentence. The choice of these two options would be influenced by mitigating or aggravating circumstances, such as the arrestee’s criminal history, concurrent offenses, etc.

The educational content was delivered in one eight-hour day, in a classroom format. The men paid a $200 fee that covered the expenses of the class and the HIV test.

The curriculum included the following topics:

  • Health risks
  • Health screening (HIV test)
  • Negative consequences of prostitution and sex trafficking on communities
  • Negative consequences for prostituted and trafficked persons
Council for Alcohol and Substance Abuse John School

At about the same time that the DA’s office was developing their short-lived john school, another program was developed by the Dallas Police Department (DPD), the City Attorney’s Office, and an NGO – the Council for Alcohol and Substance Abuse (CASA). That year, the DPD and the City Attorney’s Office approached CASA about putting together a john school. CASA provides education and substance abuse and is known in the community for offering DWI, drug offender, and various court-ordered classes.  During this same time period of the CASA john school development, the DPD started posting photos and identifiers of arrested sex buyers on the DPD website, as well as pursuing other strategies to deal with the sex buyers and not just the prostituted women and trafficked girls.

The program developed by the Council is structured as a one day, all day class on Saturday.  The sessions usually run from 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Initially, the program was offered monthly and has had periods where it has been offered twice per month – once in English and once in Spanish – when police have produced larger numbers of arrestees.

Participants are charged a $200 fee for the class. The fee is considered part of their punishment in addition to court costs, etc. The Council uses the funds to run the program, and they make a slight profit that is used to support their other programs.

A program staff member interviewed for the National Assessment provided a “rough and conservative estimate” of 900 sex buyers having gone through the program (15 participants per month = 180 per year, times the first 5 years of the program through 2010).

A key program objective of the john school is for participants to better understand the legal, social, and health costs of soliciting or hiring prostitutes. The topics that are covered in the curriculum are:

  • Program overview
  • Overview of Texas penal code regarding prostitution and sex trafficking
  • Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)
  • HIV testing
  • Presentation on health risks and consequences, focusing on STIs
  • Presentation on alcohol and drug use consequences
  • Impact on survivors
  • Pre- and post-class assessment

The drug and alcohol component was included in the curriculum since it was observed by police that many sex buyers are under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances at the time of arrest. Similar observations about intoxication are made by women who had served in prostitution in Dallas. The SASSI is a written screening inventory that the sex buyers fill out to provide a rough assessment of substance abuse problems.  It is scored by a licensed chemical dependency counselor while the johns are engaged in other parts of the curriculum. John school participants who display substance abuse problems are pulled aside during the day so that they can be spoken to privately about the results of the screening inventory and offered follow-up counseling if they so desire.

The HIV testing is done in “a confidential setting.” It is free and administered on a voluntary basis, and men who choose to be tested are pulled out of class. In order to have the HIV test, the sex buyers also must agree to participate in protocol-based counseling provided by the Council. Many sex buyers reportedly choose to have the HIV test.

The presentation about the impact on survivors is delivered by either a video or a live talk by a formerly prostituted or sex trafficked woman. The women discuss what it was like to be on street, how they became involved, their reasons for being “out on the street” (e.g., being forced or coerced by pimps/sex traffickers, a result of drug addiction, considered the best option for income) and how they were able to exit commercial sex or sex trafficking.

The pre- and post-class assessments are meant to measure and assess changes in knowledge and opinions, and satisfaction with the program (e.g., was it relevant, were they provided with information they can use in the future). Program personnel acknowledge that the assessment “is not highly scientific, but it is all they can do” and it serves their purposes. The sex buyers take the assessment at 8 am and then again at 4:30 pm. The results are used internally for program monitoring and improvement.

The presentations are all provided by staff at the Council (aside from the survivor presentations), all of whom have been trained. All Council staff deliver educational presentations in the course of their work. People who conduct the HIV testing and administer the SASSI inventory are certified health educators.

Most referrals into the john school program occur through the court systems and probation in Dallas and in surrounding communities. Council staff said that the program gets more referrals from surrounding communities than they receive from the Dallas PD. The Council “has trouble getting judges in Dallas County to refer men to their program” because the judges are “concerned with indigence and how sex buyers are going to pay the $200 for the program on top of the court and other costs.” The Council argues that the fee is reasonable, it is what they require to support the program, and that most john schools charge higher fees (they are correct about this; the national average fee or fine for a john school is over $400 and can be as high as $1,500). The Council also contends that the fees cannot be lowered since the program takes place on Saturdays, the staff must be paid, and the Council has to pay for the facility, air conditioning, and the cost of the tests.

The program initially took place only once a month and had larger numbers of participants, but the attendance declined due in part to a reduction in the number of reverse stings conducted by police. The Council in 2009 began to do more publicizing and outreach to boost awareness of their john school as an option for dealing with arrested sex buyers. The way they marketed the program was meeting one-on-one with stakeholders (i.e., judges, prosecutors). The Council also mailed flyers to the stakeholders so that they would have information on hand. At that same time, the Council was approached by a new Assistant City Attorney and DPD lieutenant who wanted to work towards making the john school mandatory.  Everyone agreed that the program (and the addition of making it mandatory) were good ideas, but there were two perceived barriers: (a) Most of the sex buyers who are arrested end up settling on plea agreements, routing them away from the john school as a potential sentence; and (b) concern over sex buyers’ ability to pay the program fee in addition to court costs and other expenses.

Program numbers declined from 2008-2010, and the Council is hoping the program becomes mandatory or a sentencing option used more often by the courts. An event in 2010 led the Council staff we interviewed to believe that they may not continue to run their john school. The organizers of a Dallas government program for commercial sex and trafficking survivors (H.O.P.E.), started their own john school as a way to generate revenue for their survivor program, called The STOP School (Solicitors, Traffickers, and Offenders of Prostitution).

The STOP School (Solicitors, Traffickers, & Offenders of Prostitution)

The STOP School (Solicitors, Traffickers, & Offenders of Prostitution) provides programming to individuals who have been arrested for soliciting or purchasing sex. This one-day 8-hour course is held quarterly at the Meadows Conference Center in the High Plains Conference Room, located near downtown Dallas. The goals of the course are to educate offenders of the high-risk behavior of purchasing and/or selling sex and its impact on the victims and community.  All participants are required to pay a $250.00 fee to the STOP School that is dedicated to aiding victims of trafficking and prostitution in their recovery process through local programs. The class participants are exposed to the following information:

  • Health risks & consequences associated with high-risk sexual behavior
  • Impact of high-risk sex on communities, and the victims/survivors
  • Victimization risks & impact on male sex buyers
  • Sexual addiction
  • Link between pornography, prostitution, & human trafficking
  • Cognition, beliefs, behaviors & responsibility
  • STD & HIV testing

Educational materials are available in English and Spanish and the presentations on the above topics are offered in both languages. The STOP School can meet other linguistic needs if advised prior to class participation.

Payment Information:

  • Money orders and cashier checks are the only method of payment accepted. Cash and personal checks will not be accepted.
  • Money order or cashier checks must be made out to New Life Opportunities in the full amount of $250.
  • Partial payment will not be accepted.
  • Payment must be received at start of class.
  • Refunds will not be issued.  If an offender choses to leave the class before completing the course, the cost of the class will not be returned.
  • Payment does not cover court costs or fines.

Course Completion:

  • Offender must complete the entire class, which includes STD testing, and anonymous assessments, pre and post-tests, to receive verification form documenting class completion.
  • Verification forms will be issued at the end of class and will be signed by both the offender and the class facilitator.
  • It is the responsibility of the offender to submit the verification of Prostitution Solicitation School attendance to the courts.
  • The Offender Program will not keep any record of the offenders’ attendance of the class.  If the offender loses the verification, the Program will be unable to reissue it.

Due to the current COVID19 restrictions, including closure and limited access to county buildings, the STOP Class has been cancelled until further notice. Please continue to check back for status updates. An alternative option that is comparable to the STOP Class and currently available on-line can be found at https://jesussaidlove.com/sds.

In response to a survey conducted in 2022 by the NCOSE team for a National Institute of Justice grant to update and expand Demand Forum (Grant #2020-75-CX-0011), representatives from the S.T.O.P. School reported that the program is still in operation today and will resume in person classes within the 2022 year as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The program is run in coordination with the Prostitution Diversion Initiative, all payments from the S.T.O.P. School are allocated to the PDI – H.O.P.E. Class. From 2017-2019, the program has estimated an average class size of 15-20 participants and a total of approximately 100 participants. The class is offered on a quarterly basis on Saturdays for the price of $250. If participants are unable to pay the full amount, a sliding payment scale is available. Program administrators collect participants’ demographic information, recidivism rates, and administer pre and post test evaluations. As of March 2022, this information is currently being analyzed by program administrators. According to representatives, participants generally agree that identity disclosure is the worst consequence of their arrest. The program is only offered in person, but allows participants from other cities, counties, and states to take the course as long as they are referred to the program by a District Attorney or law enforcement official. Most participants are male sex buyers arrested during street-level or web-based reverse sting operations. Presentations are taught through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psycho-social intervention that focuses on identifying and changing underlying thought patterns. All presenters are unpaid volunteers.

Stop Demand School (SDS)

In 2015, The Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition was founded and one of their primary goals was to create a new ‘John School.’ In 2016, a local nonprofit, Jesus Said Love, joined The Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition to launch the Stop Demand School. SDS was created as a sex buyers intervention program in coordination with the local justice system to stop demand for commercial sex in Texas and beyond. Stop Demand School is a pretrial diversion and intervention program that judges and probation officers can refer to when sentencing those charged with crimes related to the solicitation of sex. SDS is housed under the non-profit, Jesus Said Love and operates as an educational program of the organization.

The Stop Demand School is an eight-hour intervention and diversion class for individuals who have been arrested for sex buying offenses. SDS has three main goals:

  1. Reduce recidivism and demand for commercial sex
  2. Restore offenders to society and provide resources for individual growth
  3. Restore the prosperity and vitality within communities

The class covers a range of content that including, The Commercial Sex Industry, Human Trafficking, Sex Buying and Trauma, The Dangers of STDs, and Survivor Interviews. Upon a participant’s successful completion of the program, they receive a certificate pf completion to submit to their attorney and/or the court. Since the program’s initial in 2016, with three offenders, the Stop Demand School program has significantly expanded. From 2016 to 2021, 198 participants have been reached, 17 classes have been held, and four counties have implemented SDS (McLennan, Bell, Dallas, and El Paso). The program has also generated an overall revenue of $97,550 that directly funds the Jesus Said Love Victim Services Programs. The Stop Demand School program is traditionally offered in two forms of experiences: The Live Class Experience and The Online Experience. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, SDS is currently only offered in through the Online Experience. 

The Live Class Experience


The Live Class Experience is held at a location in downtown Waco, TX. The location is sent via email to the participant upon their registration. The class begins at 8am and doors close at 8:15am. If the participant arrives after 8:15am they will not be admitted and will be required to re-register for the class and pay for a new class at full price. If a participant needs to change their class date, they will be required to pay a $100.00 for a fee of $100.00. There is a $100.00 fee to change class dates after initial registration. There is no exam when attending the Live Experience. Participants are given a certificate of completion upon the conclusion of the class.

Online Experience


The Online Experience allows participants to take the Stop Demand School class from the privacy of their own home. While The Live Class Experience is completed in a single day over the course of 8 consecutive hours, the Online Experience may be completed over a period of three days. Participants must complete the entire Stop Demand School class within three days of initial registration. In addition, participants are required to pass a final exam at the conclusion of the Online Experience class. The final exam consists of 40 questions, covering all course content. The participant must earn a score of 70% or higher to pass the exam. Upon passing the exam, the participant will receive a certificate of completion. Failure to pass the final exam, will require the participant to re-take the final exam for a fee of $50.00. If the participant does not pass the final exam re-take, they will be required to re-take the course at the full price of $525.00.

Neighborhood Action, Public Education

The C7 Human Trafficking Coalition (formerly the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition) is a collaboration of over 40 nonprofits, ministries, social service organizations, healthcare providers, mental health professionals, government agencies, first responders, and community leaders. The C7HTC believes that tackling the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking is crucial to effectively combat prostitution and sex trafficking. Their mission includes, bringing awareness, education, training, and victim services to the North Texas region. C7HTC members offer direct services to individuals, families, schools, businesses, and communities to help them establish prostitution and sex trafficking prevention strategies, identify, and advocate for victims, and provide recovery services for survivors. In addition to Cooke County, members work throughout Denton, Collin, Grayson, Dallas, Tarrant, and Wise counties.

Valiant Hearts is a non-profit organization that began in 2010 when a small team was mobilized to deliver gifts to strip clubs across the DFW Metroplex. In 2011, the organization was officially launched as a non-profit under the name, We Are Cherished. The organization launched a weekly peer support group, with its sole mission being to offer compassionate care and healing to women impacted by sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, stripping, pornography, and/or prostitution. Since then, the organization has expanded to include licensed professional counseling, case management, mentoring, education & awareness, amongst other programs. In 2017, We Are Cherished, Inc. began doing business as Valiant Hearts. Between January 2019 and February 2021, Valiant Hearts has served 195 women with crisis intervention, case management, and other direct victim services based on their individual needs. Valiant Hearts believes the combatting the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking is vital in the fight to eradicate sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography, stripping, and other forms of sexual exploitation.

Unbound Global is a network of anti-human trafficking agencies working in communities in the United States and around the world. There are four Unbound agencies in Texas. Unbound North Texas has been serving the greater DFW area for several years and in 2020, they opened the first drop-in center for vulnerable youth in Tarrant County called The Underground. To read the full Unbound North Texas 2020 Impact Report, click HERE. Although the work of each Unbound location is unique, depending on the needs of its community, all Unbound agencies firmly believe that combating the demand for commercial sex is a crucial,

“Trafficking is a supply and demand business. Because there is a demand for cheap labor and a demand for commercial sex, human trafficking continues to exist. With sex trafficking, engagement in the commercial sex industry, whether in viewing pornography or purchasing sex, is creating profit for traffickers that drives demand. As we work to prevent trafficking and strengthen the protective factors of our communities, we also have to educate and fight the demand.” —Unbound Global

New Friends New Life, is a non-profit in Dallas County that also focuses on eradicating commercial sex and sex trafficking by combatting the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking. One way that New Friends New Life is combatting demand is through their NFNL Men’s Advocacy Group (MAG), that created to mobilize men to take action against sex trafficking and exploitation by raising awareness through advocacy, education, and volunteerism. The MAG also initiated the ManKINDness Project, “where volunteers go to local high schools and discuss masculinity, how they view girls and women, and how pornography affects the brain and increases the likelihood an adult will pay for sex.” The MAG volunteers also fund community bus tours, where during these bus tours, experts are able to offer firsthand insight to different sex trafficking cases that have been solved and initiate conversations about the educational and cultural reality of sex trafficking in Dallas and Dallas County. The Chief Programs Officer at NFNL, Jessica Brazeal describes MAG as,

“a group of men… interested in being a part of this solution around addressing the demand side of things, creating awareness around the social norm that has been created around paying for sex in our society, and how that actually does contribute to the rates of sex trafficking increasing.”

The SMU Embrey Human Rights Program, and its associate director, Dr. Brad Klein, has also taken action that explicitly addresses reducing the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking. In 2017, the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program held one of the largest summits on sex trafficking in North Texas. Upon the conclusion of the summit, students, community members, police, and activists were more aware of the role that the demand for commercial sex and sex trafficking plays in eradicating forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, in addition to a variety of actions plans and ways that individuals can make a difference within their own communities.

In response to a survey conducted in 2022 by the NCOSE team for a National Institute of Justice grant to update and expand Demand Forum (Grant #2020-75-CX-0011), representatives from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office reported that web-based reverse sting operations are frequently conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSI). During these investigations, all interactions are recorded through the use of audio and video surveillance. In addition, if the investigation is conducted at the state or county level (not federal), officers frequently seize the vehicles of arrested sex buyers.

Key Sources

Neighborhood Action, Public Education:

John Schools:

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Stings, Identity Disclosure:

SOAP Orders:

Background on Local Sex Trafficking, Prostitution:

State Texas
Type County
Population 2635516
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