Hampden County is located in central Massachusetts and has a population of about 460,000. Reverse stings have been conducted in several Hampden County communities over the years, and as early as 2011 the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office was considering implementing a john school program in the county House of Correction.
In November 2017, city and county officials announced the formation of a county-wide effort to combat prostitution and human trafficking by targeting those who seek sex for money rather than those who supply it. Officials pledged that that the latest effort to curb prostitution will be different from those prior in two ways. The first is it will focus on demand – the men who come to the city seeking to buy sex – rather than men and women who supply it. The second is the enforcement will be continuous, and not something done occasionally like prior anti-prostitution sweeps. The new approach, named the Human Trafficking Enforcement and Education Initiative, was announced in a press conference at the South End Community Center in Springfield by the Hampden County District Attorney, Hampden County Sheriff, and Springfield Mayor. The prosecution will be reserved for the customers, and anyone arrested in Springfield for soliciting prostitution will have their name and photo publicized in the press.
- Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
- Springfield Police Department
- Hampden County District Attorney
- Community Approach to Reduce Demand
National Assessment interview
Reverse Stings, Shaming, John School:
- http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/springfield_hampden_county_off.html (2017)
- http://wamc.org/post/new-approach-announced-combat-prostitution-springfield (2017)
- https://www.wwlp.com/hampden-county/over-80-men arrested-for-solicitation-prostitution-in-springfield-since-2017 (2019)