Murfreesboro is a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee and has a population of over 110,000. Prostitution rings and hotel-based prostitution and sex trafficking are known to occur in the city and generate complaints to police. In one case, a pimp shot a man and was seized in a Murfreesboro motel. To our knowledge, the Murfreesboro Police Department has not conducted a reverse sting or taken any other proactive steps to address demand, instead directing their anti-prostitution efforts to diversion programs and assistance to prostituted women. When asked about the MPD’s strategy in 2014, a police representative stated:
“Several years ago, the strategy shifted to focus on rescuing women from their situations and redirecting their lives, reducing prostitution one life at a time. This paradigm shift means recognizing that prostitutes may be the victims of a sex trafficking situation, or at least in a difficult situation to flee from… In Murfreesboro, the most effective way we discovered is to combine the work of vice detectives as well as patrol officers to identify prostitutes, their handlers, and those patronizing. We then work to separate everyone and try to get each the best, most appropriate solution for their situation, whether that be the criminal justice system or social services.”
In addition, the city hosts a privately-funded the john school. A private company that provides counseling services has started an online john school program, based in Murfreesboro but serving all interested first-time offenders. The intent is to provide a john school option for intervention for men who might not have access to (or wish to pursue) a traditional, in-person classroom or counseling experience. The program is for first-time offenders only. As of October 2013, the program was new and had not yet served any clients. The program is divided into four 1-hour sections:
- Section 1: Legal Risks of Prostitution
- Section 2: Health Risks of Prostitution
- Section 3: Impact on Survivors
- Section 4: Impact on Communities, Spouses and Children
More details and contact information are available at the programs webpage.
- Logan Social Services
- Murfreesboro Police Department
- Last Call for Grace Ministry
- John School:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Three Arrested for Promoting Prostitution”, Murfreesboro Post, April 25 2014.
- “Local Prostitution Arrests Are Way Below Average”, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, August 26 2014.