7 thoughts on “Mug Shots: The Public Shaming of “Johns””

  1. This finding is very interesting! I teach a drugs and society class, and one of the arguments I make is that, though drug arrests may be clustered in certain neighborhoods, the people buying drugs come from all over the city. Certain neighborhoods (usually poor, minority) take the brunt of the crime and police surveillance, even though those who are using may live anywhere in the city. I think your data reflect this same trend.

  2. Great post. Like a drug arrests, I assume there is some underlying social class mechanism here, by which poor people are more likely to be arrested for this type of ostensibly victimless crime, since the arrests happen in more public spaces. I look forward to the rest of the series.

  3. One of the huge issues ignored here is the fact that in urban areas concepts of probable cause have given way to hyper aggressive practices, particularly predictive profiling. In drug cases the typical arrest is based on guilt by association: three black or hispanic men hanging out outside of a laundromat. The police all up to one reach in his pocket. If they find marijuana he is arrested for selling , his friends for trying to buy from him. Prostitution stings are part of the same vacuum of constitutionality: if the driver stops in the vicinity of the undercover operative he is arrested. Period. The undercover operative is typically a police officer with no training. She is just a decoy. The take down order is made by a sergeant or other official sitting in their car at a distance. When the arrest is made no specific facts about the so called transaction are listed. It is all boiler plate. The motive for this process in which profiling has become routine-not the exception- is that police are paid overtime for each arrest . The federal government incentivizes this profiling in a misguided effort to support “zero-tolerance.” But these arrest-based on purse suspicion not probable cause- only take place in black and brown communities.

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