The spectacular fall of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who leaves office today, may have been the ultimate form of public humiliation over a prostitute, but it renewed the debate over how cities should deal with the world’s oldest profession, reports the Associated Press. Many cities believe targeting johns to cut demand is the best way, including Chicago, Raleigh and Durham, N.C., and Arlington, Tx., where pictures of those arrested for soliciting prostitutes have been posted on police Web sites. Other cities that have tried that approach include St. Paul, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Knoxville, Tn., Omaha.
Kansas City officials posted on TV pictures of men arrested for prostitution, but stopped the practice. Other cities have required men to stay out of areas where prostitution flourishes or to attend schools like the one Norma Hotaling runs in San Francisco. A one-time prostitute, Hotaling started SAGE (Stand Against Global Exploitation) 13 years ago, and runs a class aimed at preventing recidivism among the clients of prostitutes. It educates first-time offenders about the dangers of prostitution and trains them to build real intimacy out of fragile personal relationships. Michael Shively studied the program for the National Institute for Justice and found that it reduced recidivism and was cost-effective because offenders paid for it.