Special Investigations Division, Investigative Services Bureau
“Yeah, sure, the prostitutes get arrested but what about the men that solicit them? Shouldn’t they bear some responsibility?”
Have you ever wondered about that yourself? Rest assured that progress is being made. Agencies, just as ours, are working to resolve this disparity.
The Prostitution Impact Prevention program (PIPE) program was developed to address the inequity in the prosecution of men and women arrested for solicitation for prostitution. In addressing street prostitution, a number of years ago the City of West Palm Beach Police Department developed the Prostitution Relocation and Enforcement Program (P.R.E.P.). While the women defendants were offered jail time and high bonds, the men arrested during the “john” reverses were allowed to plea out. They would receive a small fine, and in some cases, have adjudication withheld.
THE P.I.P.E. PROGRAM IS OFFERED TO FIRST TIME OFFENDERS ONLY
The purpose of the PIPE plea offer is to standardize sentencing in these cases, and to educate the defendant as to the consequences of soliciting prostitutes. Consequences include contracting STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases), HIV, and hepatitis, as well as the possibility of being a robbery victim. The impact of prostitution on the community is also discussed with the State Attorney’s representative, as well as showing the prostitute as a victim. The real possibility also exists of being arrested in a police sting. For many men, getting arrested for soliciting a street prostitute has even more consequences. Think of the the heavy impact this can have on their wives and children.
Working in conjunction with the State Attorney Office and the Public Defender, a plea offer was developed to correct this inequity. Referred to as the “john” or P.I.P.E. plea, the Defendant is informed of this plea offer at the time of arrest.
The arrestee is transported to the West Palm Beach Police Department for processing. This includes arrest paperwork, and a data sheet, which includes personal information and a digital photo. The arrestees are then transported to the Palm Beach County jail, where a cash bond is required to be released. If bond can’t be made, the arrestee is held overnight for first appearance. At first appearance, the Defendant is offered the standard P.I.P.E. plea agreement. He can accept the plea agreement, or, plea not guilty. If a not guilty plea is entered, a court date is set. If the Defendant accepts the P.I.P.E. plea, he is sentenced to sixty days in jail, however is released on his own recognizance to complete the conditions set forth in the plea. One of the conditions is the P.I.P.E. school. Upon completion, the individual will receive a Nolle Prosse.
In addition to the education awareness program, the plea agreement includes testing for STD, HIV, hepatitis. The Defendant pays all fees, including a fee for the health education class. If the Defendant completes the above requirements, is not arrested for any new offense, and stays out of the mapped area he/she was arrested in, the sixty day sentence is mitigated to Nolle Prosse. This program is intended to act as a deterrent and to educate, since a second arrest can be upgraded to a first degree misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail. Individuals leave the class “scared straight”.
Class given in English and Spanish.
As of 2014, approximately 3700 people have taken this class.
For Further information please contact; Vicker’s House South
Phone: (561) 804-4975
West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room 600 Banyan Blvd, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Phone: 822-1900 Press “0”
Health Education Class Fee: $60 CASH OR MONEY ORDER ONLY
The Health Education Class is given:
- April 17, 2015
- August 14, 2015
- December 11, 2015
*No Pre-Registration Required
Gail Levine, Facilitator (561) 804-4975, Vickers House
Palm Beach County
15th Judicial Circuit of Florida
Court Ordered Health Education Program
For Arrested Johns and Prostitutes