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Street Prostitution

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2001
53 pages

After identifying reasons why police should be concerned about street prostitution, this guide identifies factors that contribute to street prostitution, suggests a strategy for analyzing a local problem, and profiles strategies for responding to street prostitution.


Reasons why the police should be concerned about street prostitution are moral concerns of citizens, public health concerns, personal safety concerns, spillover effects, impact on legitimate businesses, and civil rights concerns. One section of the guidebook provides an overview of street prostitutes, their clients, pimps and panderers, sexual transactions, and areas where street prostitution exists. Questions to use in analyzing a specific local problem of street prostitution are grouped under the following topics: police and community members, street prostitutes, their clients, pimps and panderers, sexual transactions, environment, drug links, and current response. General strategies for deterring prostitutes and clients encompass the enforcement of laws related to street prostitution, a highly visible police presence, relaxation of the regulation of indoor prostitution venues, enhancement of the penalties for prostitution-related offenses in a specified high-activity zone, banning prostitutes or clients from specific geographic areas, the use of community service sentences, citizen public protests, and education and warnings for both prostitutes and their clients. Some special strategies for deterring street prostitutes and their clients are offered in addition to the aforementioned general strategies. Suggestions are provided for helping prostitutes and changing the environment. Responses that have proven to have limited effectiveness are also identified. Appended summary of responses to street prostitution and 28 references

Date Published: August 1, 2001