Criminal Justice

California DAs shame johns with website photos

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In California, prosecutors hope to discourage prostitution by posting photos of johns.

The District Attorney’s office in San Bernardino County began publishing photos of convicted customers in April 2013 at a “Stop-the John” Web page, the Los Angeles Times reports. The photos remain posted for a year.

Now the Orange County DA’s office is taking a similar tack with a “Sex Purchasers” Web page, where johns’ photos will remain posted indefinitely, the story says.

Prosecutors hope the Web pages will combat sex trafficking by scaring away customers. “These men have to understand when they purchase a woman like she’s a commodity, they’re probably purchasing someone that has been trafficked,” said the Orange County DA’s chief of staff, Susan Kang Schroeder, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Emma Andersson, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project expressed reservations, however. She said the goal of the criminal justice system should be rehabilitation rather than “the banishment and isolation of individuals from a community.”

Hat tip to the Marshall Project.

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