West Palm Beach, Fl., officials believe public embarrassment could curb prostitution, even though their last attempt to shame johns turned into a costly court battle, reports the Palm Beach Post. City commissioners this week debated posting the names, and possibly photos and addresses, of men arrested for soliciting prostitutes. In 1992 Mayor Nancy Graham got national attention when she enacted a similar program. The city placed two $1,000 ads in The Palm Beach Post, first listing the names, ages and cities of 81 men arrested in prostitution sweep. A month later, the city listed more johns, but with full addresses and dates of birth, to protect men with similar names. A man whose name was printed but who was acquitted sued the city, which agreed to a $10,000 settlement.
Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell said times have changed. With the advent of the Internet, the county’s booking blotter is already searchable online, she noted. Commissioner Bill Moss said the city needs evidence that publishing the names of johns would reduce prostitution. “If our goal is to try and deter future crime, that’s one thing,” Moss said. “If it’s only embarrassing the person and their family and children, then we need to think about it.”