The Village of Dundee is a small community of about 4,400 residents in Monroe County, located in the Detroit/Ann Arbor metropolitan area of Michigan. In an effort to reduce the demand for prostitution, police began conducting reverse stings in the county in 1982, and participated in regional sting operations in 2017 and 2018.
In April, 2017, the development of a john school program within Monroe County was announced, after the Village of Dundee governing board voted unanimously to allow organizations fighting human trafficking to use the second floor of village hall for classes and meetings free of cost. The Village of Dundee announced the intention to start a John School to educate sex buyers about the need to change their behavior, which in turn could have a positive impact on the fight against human trafficking: if there were fewer customers willing to pay for sex, the market conditions should lead to fewer young women being exploited in human trafficking. Other organizations that would use the space and potentially collaborate on the John School are Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP), and the Monroe County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition. The John School is intended for first-time offenders to attend the classes, typically eight hours long, to learn that what they did is not a victimless crime. Counselors, police officers, physicians and trafficking survivors will participate in the school to shed some light on the evils of prostitution. The student-johns would attend the school by order of a court and could be in lieu of jail time. The school was scheduled to begin conducting classes in July, 2017, and would accept johns who were sentenced in several counties, including Lucas, Wayne, Oakland, Monroe, Washtenaw and Lenawee. The location is excellent, supporters say, because Dundee is close to US-23 and accessible from other highways. And Toledo, a hotbed of human trafficking, is nearby. The 2o17 announcement about the Village of Dundee john school was erroneously reported as “state’s first-ever educational facility targeting men who are caught trying to buy sex with money.” Grand Rapids, MI was the first known john school program in the United States and began operating in 1981. Washtenaw County has also had a john school program, which was launched in 2011.
Within two weeks after the announcement of the john school in Dundee, Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution announced it would not locate the program in the Village, but elsewhere in Monroe County. It is still listed here because the option still exists for men arrested in Dundee and elsewhere in the county to attend the program.
- Monroe County Sheriff’s Department
- Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP)
- Monroe County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition
Arresting Sex Buyers, Shaming:
- https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/former-monroe-county-judge-pleads-guilty-in-prostitution-case (2018)
- http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2018/09/05/Former-Monroe-County-judge-pleads-guilty-in-prostitution-case/stories/ (2018)
- https://wsbt.com/news/regional/ex-monroe-michigan-judge-pleads-guilty-in-prostitution-investigation (2018)
- https://www.monroenews.com/news/dundee-creates-john-school-to-fight-human-trafficking (2017)
- https://www.facebook.com/events/198974043940149 (2017)
- https://www.monroenews.com/news/20170420/soap-seeks-new-location-for-initiative (2017)
- https://www.toledoblade.com/Focus-turned-to-buyers-of-sexual-services (2017)
Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in the area:
- Bryan Times, July 22, 1981. Hookers plague Michigan stops.
- https://www.monroecopost.com/prostitution-arrests-follow-police-investigation-in-city-of-geneva (2017)
- https://fingerlakes1.com/2017/02/01/three-arrested-in-geneva-after-prostitution-investigation/ (2017)
- https://www.monroenews.com/news/human-trafficking-worst-case-in-monroe (2018)
- https://upnorthlive.com/news/local/msp-warns-of-impacts-of-prostitution-in-northern-michigan-communities (2018)