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The proponents of Proposition K, a measure to decriminalize prostitution and prohibit some sex-traffic investigations, realize that the measure won't do anything to prevent the often-desperate circumstances that lead people into sex work. They admit that the measure is merely a beginning, that may "point towards decriminalizing other parts of this industry," as Carol Leighdirector of the Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Networktold The Chronicle 's editorial board.

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Police Department and district attorney's office, go to: www. The class was co-founded by Norma Hotalinga former street prostitute arrested 30 times before she gained sobriety and started Standing Against Global Exploitation, a San Francisco group committed to ending commercial sexual traffic.

The study arrives at the same time Supervisor Jake McGoldrick asked for an audit of the city's program, wondering if the arrests are worthwhile and the money for the program is being well spent. Anecdotally, the researchers also found that police departments reported street prostitution declined in the cities where the classes were available.

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Yet Valentina's presentation as well as the other components of john school are effective, according to a study to be released in the coming weeks by the U. Department of Justice. Every two months, Valentina visits about 30 men enrolled in San Francisco's " john school " to tell them a sex story they don't want to hear.

And some men may be responding to the information conveyed about the harm they are causing the women they hire, and to the communities where the prostitution takes place. Shively said the study could not factor what role online prostitution may have played in reducing street prostitution in the past 12 years.

I don't get much feedback from them. Valentina, a striking Russian woman with jet-black hair to protect her privacy, her full name is not given in this articleexplains how she was molested from age 8 to 13 by a cousin; how she was a full-blown alcoholic and heroin addict at 21; how she became an "escort" a year later, and by age 25 was working Mission Street. I do my presentation and go about my day. Hotaling recalled the advice and later developed the curriculum, which includes a six-hour course featuring multiple speakers who explain the negative impact prostitution has on women, their clients and the communities where it thrives.

studies have shown that recidivism rates among men arrested for soliciting prostitutes is particularly low compared to other crimes, such as robbery. Hotaling said a San Francisco police officer who repeatedly arrested her was the first to suggest that her johns needed an education instead of jail time.

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Last year, the department arrested men, up from in Garcia has monitored the Post and Hyde intersection near his home for about 20 years, and said he was skeptical the program would have any impact. The costs of the school are covered by the men's fees, according to the district attorney's office. Robert Garciaa member of Save Our Streets Tenants and Merchants Association in Lower Nob Hill, credits the john school program as helping to reduce street prostitution in his neighborhood near Post and Hyde streets.

Hotaling said the study's validate the once-experimental school, and hopes the city will expand the program.

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Now, it rests at about 5 percent. The men are part of the city's First Offender Prostitution Program because they've been arrested for soliciting a prostitute, usually in the Mission or Tenderloin.

Since then, 39 cities have modeled programs after San Francisco's. More recently, Hotaling said, presentations have focused on global sex trafficking, to help men consider their role in the illegal phenomenon. Since the program's inception, critics have wondered if the classes had any real impact on the men and the streets, Hotaling said.

He did not respond to messages seeking comment for this story. Shively, the study's author, said in San Francisco the recidivism rate for such men was about 8 percent before the program began.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers concluded that men who attended San Francisco's john school were 30 percent less likely to be rearrested for soliciting a prostitute than men who did not attend such a program. Researchers compared data collected from 5, johns who completed the daylong class in San Francisco over the past 12 years with roughly 75, men arrested for soliciting prostitutes in California who did not attend john schools.

She hated every interaction with every client. When the First Offender Prostitution Program began init was considered a noble experiment in a progressive city. As part of the agreement between Hotaling's organization, which facilitates the school, and the district attorney's office, which agrees to drop the charges, the Police Department is required to run eight sting operations per month deed to arrest the johns.