West Palm Beach city commissioners are considering multiple methods to curb prostitution in the city, including printing the names, mug shots, and addresses of those busted trying to pick up a hooker -- effectively creating a customer database for women of the night.
The city has had a rough time trying to deal with its prostitution problem -- including having its anti-hooker-loitering ordinance declared unconstitutional by two different courts.
Now West Palm Beach is running a little low on options.
In Monday night's work session with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and the city commissioners, City Attorney Claudia McKenna gave two alternatives to the now-defunct loitering law: Create "prostitute exclusion zones" or go back to publishing the names of johns on the city's website or in print -- which didn't work so well the first time around.
In 1992, West Palm Beach took out two $1,200 ads in the Palm Beach Post, according to the paper, leading to a lawsuit against the city by a man acquitted of charges that was settled for $10,000.
But now, Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell is ready to bring back the publishing of all the johns' details.
"By publishing somebody's name, we understand the consequences to the families, but the people who are committing these crimes need to know the consequences of their behavior, too," Mitchell told the Post. "While that's tough for families to deal with, it's tougher for the neighborhoods to deal with crime that's going on."
What do you think: Should West Palm Beach publish its catalogs of would-be johns?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Cast your vote below.