Seizing on public embarrassment as a deterrent, the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday began posting on its Web site the names, addresses and photos of people arrested for soliciting prostitutes.
“We’re telling everyone who sets foot in Chicago, if you solicit a prostitute, you’ll be arrested,” Mayor Richard Daley said. “And when you are arrested, people will know. Your spouse, your children, your families, your neighbors and your employers.”
Some newspapers already print the names of those arrested for soliciting sex for money. Cities have tried broadcasting mug shots on community access TV channels. And in Oakland, Calif., officials began a “shaming campaign” this year in which they posted billboards with photos of men convicted of soliciting sex.
The Chicago Web site was already filled Tuesday afternoon with the pictures of 20 people arrested in the past month. Officials also are distributing posters warning potential customers about the site.
Besides the Web site postings, convicted “johns” face fines of about $1,000 in Chicago, plus the impoundment of their cars. Judges can also order jail time for repeat offenders.
Last year, Chicago police arrested 3,204 people on prostitution charges and 950 on charges involving solicitation. Officials estimate that more than 16,000 women are involved in prostitution in Chicago over the course of a year.