Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Web site puts `johns' on the spot

Filed under
Web

People seeking prostitutes in Chicago already face arrest and impoundment of their cars if they are caught, but now they risk something else: public embarrassment on a city Web site.

The city has begun posting the names and photographs of alleged "johns" on the Police Department's Web site for all to see, including spouses, children, employers, friends and neighbors, Mayor Richard Daley announced Tuesday.

"I don't have to tell anyone how fast information travels on the Internet," Daley said.

The mayor brushed aside possible constitutional concerns about identifying people accused, but not convicted, of crimes and asserted that the public good outweighs objections by people collared by police.

Some social critics contend prostitution is a victimless crime, but solicitation "can ruin a neighborhood" and takes a terrible toll on the providers of sexual services, Daley said.

"Its victims are, first of all, the prostitutes themselves," Daley said. "It is estimated that between 16,000 and 25,000 women are involved in prostitution in Chicago over the course of a year. Most of them were victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence from a very young age.

"Once they become prostitutes, they're subject to even more violence, abuse and possible death from their pimps and their customers. They spend their lives surrounded by criminals and drugs and [are] vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases."

The names and partial addresses of 21 people, along with police photographs of 20 of them, were listed at http://www.chicagopolice.org/ps/list.aspx on Tuesday. Police Sgt. Robert Cargie said that there was no specific timetable for removing the photos, but that as the Web site gets more photos, they will be rotated.

"The photos won't be up there for the rest of their lives," Cargie said.

Most of the suspects are from Chicago, but officials said they will send letters to the hometown police departments of non-Chicagoans.

Chicago is not the first city that has attempted to use shame as a deterrent to prostitution.

"Operation John Be Gone" in Akron, Ohio, "draws the most hits on our Web site by far"--100,000 in its first year of operationsaid Police Lt. Rick Edwards.

"The first thing attorneys for these guys say is, `What can we do about the picture on the Web site?'" Edwards said. "Their clients are willing to do more time and pay bigger fines rather than having their photo [on display]."

No deals are cut with lawyers over the photos, Edwards said, and the public postings have "cut down on the trolling in neighborhoods that used to draw prostitutes."

Denver publicizes information about people convicted of soliciting prostitutes on a community-access television station, and Oakland puts the faces of the convicted on billboards.

That differs from Chicago, where suspects only have to be arrested, not convicted, to have their faces posted.

Police in Kansas City, Mo., previously posted the images of people they arrested on a community-access channel, despite concerns by some in the department.

Some suspects with access to attorneys could get the charges thrown out or reduced before morning, which meant their imagescould not be shown legally, said Kansas City Police Sgt. Brad Dumit

"To be honest, we were very, very lucky," he said. "We did it for almost four years, and I think we were extremely lucky that we didn't get caught in a legal bind."

The Kansas City program, which has been put on hold as the department reorganizes, did not reduce the number of prostitution-related arrests, according to police.

Rest of Story.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Delayed Until February 2, Will Bring Linux 4.8, Newer Mesa

If you've been waiting to upgrade your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system to the 16.04.2 point release, which should have hit the streets a couple of days ago, you'll have to wait until February 2. We hate to give you guys bad news, but Canonical's engineers are still working hard these days to port all the goodies from the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) repositories to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is a long-term supported version, until 2019. These include the Linux 4.8 kernel packages and an updated graphics stack based on a newer X.Org Server version and Mesa 3D Graphics Library. Read more

Calamares Release and Adoption

  • Calamares 3.0 Universal Linux Installer Released, Drops Support for KPMcore 2
    Calamares, the open-source distribution-independent system installer, which is used by many GNU/Linux distributions, including the popular KaOS, Netrunner, Chakra GNU/Linux, and recently KDE Neon, was updated today to version 3.0. Calamares 3.0 is a major milestone, ending the support for the 2.4 series, which recently received its last maintenance update, versioned 2.4.6, bringing numerous improvements, countless bug fixes, and some long-anticipated features, including a brand-new PythonQt-based module interface.
  • Due to Popular Request, KDE Neon Is Adopting the Calamares Graphical Installer
    KDE Neon maintainer Jonathan Riddell is announcing today the immediate availability of the popular Calamares distribution-independent Linux installer framework on the Developer Unstable Edition of KDE Neon. It would appear that many KDE Neon users have voted for Calamares to become the default graphical installer system used for installing the Linux-based operating system on their personal computers. Indeed, Calamares is a popular installer framework that's being successfully used by many distros, including Chakra, Netrunner, and KaOS.

Red Hat Financial News

Wine 2.0 RC6 released