Strengths and Challenges of a Prostitution Court Model

Joan M. Blakey, Daria J. Mueller, Matt Richie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In most major metropolitan cities, prostitution is a revolving-door offense in which individuals are arrested, sentenced, released, and rearrested, while the underlying causes that often result in recidivism virtually go unchanged. Prostitution courts are becoming an increasingly popular way to address prostitution-related offenses. Utilizing the case study method, the purpose of this study is to highlight the strengths and challenges of Supporting the End of Prostitution Permanently (SEPP), a prostitution court serving women with extensive histories of prostitution in Texas. There is a dearth of information about prostitution courts that serve individuals who are facing years in jail or prison. The majority of existing studies focus on prostitution-diversion courts and programs. Data analysis revealed strengths, challenges, and unanticipated factors of the SEPP program. Increasingly, prostitution courts are becoming attractive to local and state jurisdictions that are seeking effective ways to address prostitution. Understanding and highlighting the strengths and challenges that a prostitution court such as SEPP has experienced is important so other programs can build on the successes while minimizing the challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-379
Number of pages16
JournalJustice System Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 National Center for State Courts.


  • Problem-solving courts
  • prostitution
  • prostitution courts
  • qualitative study
  • women


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