Senior Research Associate, Case Western Reserve University
- John schools, government programs taught by experts to prevent men arrested for soliciting sex from reoffending, do not reduce recidivism to sex crimes.
- The San Francisco First Offender Prostitution Program study was not methodologically sound enough to assert that john schools are successful.
In the article, “Do John Schools Really Decrease Recidivism?,” Lovell and her co-author examine the impact that john schools have on reducing sex crimes. John schools are government programs taught by health experts, law enforcement, and former sex workers offered to men arrested for soliciting paid sex to prevent them from reoffending. The researchers analyzed data from the San Francisco John school, First Offender Prostitution Program (FOPP). The authors note that the FOPP study had many flaws including failing to use proper methodology and incorrectly assessing the data. The authors noted the lack of a random control sample, which traditionally would have allowed reasonable claims about whether johns schools are successful or not, were not in place. The FOPP findings the authors analyzed also used misleading statistics to credit john schools for the drop in recidivism rates while failing to acknowledge that two years before the program began recidivism rates were already dropping. The authors found that the FOPP study also compared recidivism rates in San Francisco to the rest of California when they were not similar or stable over time. In conclusion, the authors noted that john schools do not reduce sex crime recidivism and that the FOPP study was not methodologically sound to assert accurate findings.