As Atlanta gains a reputation as a destination for the sex trade, Mayor Shirley Franklin and other officials announced a crackdown on the prostitution of children, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The move is an attack on an offshoot of the region’s thriving, and legal, adult entertainment business. About 4,000 strippers work at about 40 adult clubs in metro Atlanta, said the Atlanta Women Agenda, a group formed by Franklin to ensure that all the city’s policies consider the impact on women and girls. Franklin had a personal brush with a sexual predator nearly 50 years ago.
The idea in the new campaign is to go after the johns, and force them to change their behavior. The approach is not new, but Atlanta’s campaign will begin with a media blitz telling johns they will not be tolerated in the city. It is to end with courtroom-based shock therapy for johns and possibly prosecuting them. “They are child molesters,” said Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. A “John’s School” will open in Atlanta Municipal Court to tell johns that even young girls can infect them with a sexually transmitted disease and hear from women formerly in the trade.