Joliet, IL

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Joliet is city with a population of about 148,000 located in northeastern Illinois, with portions of the city in Will and Kendall counties.  Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the counties.  This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking, and the assault and murder of prostituted women.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response.  The city of Joliet has been addressing consumer-level demand for prostitution and sex trafficking since at least 1976, when reverse stings and shaming were first used.  In one of the earlier stings that occurred in 1976, 24 johns were arrested for solicitation.  Another tactic used in Joliet is auto seizure.  In 2007, during a two day reverse sting, 30 men were arrested.  In addition to having their names, ages, and addresses published in local media, 27 of the men who were driving also had their vehicles towed.   In 2011, police arrested 11 sex buyers in a web-based reverse sting, and seized $2,000 and 11 cell phones from the alleged solicitors. Ten vehicles were also impounded.  Police received an additional 60 calls in response to the ads for sex, but couldn’t get to all of them.

Arrested johns face fees totaling over $600 in connection with their solicitation arrest.  Often, these stings and arrests come as a result of complaints from the community about the sex trafficking in the area.

Key Partners

  • Joliet Police Department
    •  Neighborhood Response Team
  • Local area residents and businesses

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings and Shaming:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Illinois
Type City
Population 148462
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