Nashville: Reverse Stinging Since 1964

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Over at The Atlantic's Cities blog, Eric Jaffe has a story about DEMANDforum, a website that tracks the ways different communities are attempting to reduce prostitution by targeting the johns.

Most communities begin by sweeping the streets for the suppliers of sex, but ultimately find the approach ineffective, he says. The women are often victims themselves who've been forced into the trade for various reasons, and the pimps are easily replaceable once they're taken off the street.

"Focusing on the supply, the supply of sellers of commercial sex, is not found to be effective," says [Michael] Shively [of research firm Abt Associates, which compiled the statistics]. "Police never find it to have any lasting or substantial effects other than short-term displacement or moving the problem around."

Nashville comes up in the discussion a couple of times. First, because the city has practiced "reverse-stings" (where an undercover cop pretends to be a prostitute) since 1964, and was in fact one of the first cities to adopt this tactic. Jaffe also writes that, "Nashville, Tennessee, also deserves praise for its aggressive john school, he says, which generates about $100,000 a year for survivors."

Nashville also posts pictures of some of the people arrested for soliciting prostitutes, and interestingly enough, you have your choice of multiple languages in which to read how police set up a sting at airport-area hotels by posing as prostitutes on the Internet.

So, even if you only read, say, Esperanto, you can know that police arrested people from as far away as Meksiko, Irano, and Sakramento, Kalifornio in said sting.

There's something refreshing about a city that came so close to being English-only using the power of Google Translate to make sure these guys are shamed in all the most common — and some pretty uncommon — languages spoken on Earth.

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