Brewer, D. D.,
Potterat, J. J., Muth, S. Q., & Roberts, J. M., Jr. (2006). A large
specific deterrent effect of arrest for patronizing a prostitute. PLoS One, 1 (1): e60.
Background: Prior research suggests that
arrest, compared with no police detection, of some types of offenders
does not decrease the chances they will reoffend.
Methodology/Principal Findings: We assessed the specific deterrent
effect of arrest for patronizing a street prostitute in Colorado
Springs by comparing the incidence of arrest for clients of prostitutes
first detected through public health surveillance with the incidence of
rearrest for clients first detected by police arrest. Although
these sets of clients were demographically and behaviorally similar,
arrest reduced the likelihood of a subsequent arrest by approximately
70%. In other areas of the US, arrest did not appear to displace
a client’s patronizing.
Conclusions/Significance: Our results suggest that apprehending clients
decreases their patronizing behavior substantially.
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