Friday, March 14, 2008

What if they held a prostitution sting and nobody in the media reported it?

In the process of tracking Travis County's new immigration detainer policy, Jamie Spencer happened to notice at the Travis County jail the results from a recent Austin prostitution sting that received no local publicity. He makes a good point and asks a legitimate question:

It used to be that I’d see these things publicized in the local paper – not the names of the arrestees, but the fact that the police department had run a sting, and how proud they were that they had arrested so many people, etc. But I’ve searched Google News and the Austin American Statesman, and I can’t find a press release or anything.

Hey, if you guys aren’t going to brag about this, is that some sort of indication that you think public support for these stings is waning? And if so, any chance you could use our money on something more useful?

Doc Berman is a fan of "shaming" penalties (to some extent), though he's also recognized in the past that prostitutes may also be "victims" as well as offenders. I'm curious whether he or others think that prosecution of men for soliciting prostitutes is a less effective tactic when it's not publicized?

See also from ACDL:

And from Grits:

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