This project, conducted by the Sex Workers of Winnipeg Action Coalition and academics from University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg, investigates a Winnipeg “diversion program” called the Prostitution Offender Program (POP). Jointly run by Winnipeg Police Services and the Salvation Army, POP is a day-long educational program offered as an alternative to criminal charges to individuals who have attempted to purchase sexual services from an undercover officer. The POP is becoming de-facto policy for addressing the purchasing of sexual services in Manitoba, spreading out from Winnipeg to other parts of the province. This despite considerable evidence that targeting of clients doesn’t eliminate sex work or protect sex workers (Gibbs & van Brunschot 2003; Kennedy et al. 2004; Sanders 2008; Shively et al. 2008; Lovell & Jordan 2012; Gurd & O’Brien 2013; Majic 2013). The critical inquiry we introduce will investigate the educational and administrative frameworks of POP, considering the program’s effectiveness at changing behaviours, preventing human trafficking, and deterring the purchase of sexual services.
What Are John Schools?
Members of WPCH’s subcommittee on the prison-industrial complex and sexual and gender-based violence (PIC-SGBV) debut their collaborative video project with SWWAC: “What are John Schools?”