Community Policing and "John Schools"

By Brunschot, Erin Gibbs Van | The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, May 2003 | Go to article overview

Community Policing and "John Schools"


Brunschot, Erin Gibbs Van, The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology


AN APPARENTLY PERMANENT FEATURE of the urban landscape is street prostitution. Despite its relative permanence, as well as overused claims that it is the "world's oldest profession," prostitution appears to pose a dilemma when considering the range of images conjured by the phenomenon and its participants.

The Urban Landscape

On one hand, there is the image of the prostitute with a heart of gold simply doing the best she can (recall the movie Pretty Woman). On the other hand, there is the image of the prostitute as junkie, indiscriminately turning tricks for .her next hit and attracting the worst in society Despite these varying images, traditional policing efforts have tended to focus on female vendors as offenders, leaving male participants in prostitution, specifically customers, virtually unexamined. However, more recent policing efforts, initiated under the rubric of community policing, aim specifically at the male consumer and have resulted in prostitution offender programs or 'john schools."

In the discussion that follows, I highlight the development of community policing and the characteristics of community policing that provide the foundation and justification for prostitution offender programs. I then consider prostitution offender programs as community policing in practice and highlight the attendant difficulties with such programs, as well as the problems associated with community policing initiatives more generally.

Policing and Urban Disorder

An examination of the policing literature suggests that, prior to the 1960s, the police had adopted a "banner of professionalism." Yet the "bureaucratic, legalistic, crime-control model" of police professionalism (Marx, 1990) was seen as increasingly insufficient by both police and the public to address urban problems and the differentiation of problems across the urban landscape. One of the criticisms of "police professionalism" was that the police had fostered an image of "us"--police officers--against "them"--the rest of the community Crank explains that the 1970s were instead characterized by "the development of organizational structures and strategies almed at re-involving the police in the life of the community" (1994: 331). The role of the citizen was amplified throughout the 1970s and 1980s (Rosenbaum and Lurigio, 1994: 300).

The amplified role of the citizen is part and parcel of the more recent "community policing" model. Batty explains that "community policing is an organizational strategy in which the police seek to establish close ties with the local community in order to 'improve the quality of community life"' (1991: 172), and "to include interactions with members of the general public in which the subject matter is not restricted to infractions of the law" (Batty, 1991: 172). Mastrofski, Worden and Snipes state that "community policing rejects the model of the officer as simply crime fighter or law enforcer in favor of more selective use of arrest; it urges police to be guided by the preferences of the community" (1995: 540). They explain that community policing rejects law enforcement as the core function of the police, and that "it holds that there are times when, despite the technical requirements of the law, arrest is not the best choice" (1995: 541).

Community policing therefore widens not only the potential net of "offences" and the potential range of "offenders," but it also widens the net of methods with which such offences and offenders might be dealt, while apparently guided by the preferences of the community (a point to be returned to later).

In his book, Disorder and Decline, Skogan (1990) explains that many urban areas are characterized by disorder. Social disorder, according to Skogan, "is a matter of behaviour", while physical disorder "involves visual signs of negligence and unchecked decay" (Skogan, 1990: 4). Importantly, social and physical disorder does not exclusively consist of behaviours or signs considered criminal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Community Policing and "John Schools"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.