DENVER (AP) – A bill tacking on much bigger penalties for soliciting a prostitute has won initial backing in the Colorado Senate.

Lawmakers supported the change Friday with no debate.

The measure adds a minimum $5,000 fine for the crime of buying sex, up to a maximum of $10,000. The money would go to so-called “john schools” to teach men about human trafficking.

Anti-prostitution advocates say Colorado should raise fines, which are usually levied by cities and can be as low as $75. That’s less than littering in some cases.

The higher fines would be used for scared straight-type programs for johns. John schools are in place in several large cities and have been credited for reducing recidivism, though no Colorado city currently has a john school.

The bill faces a more formal Senate vote before it can move to the House.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (6)
  1. denvervet says:

    No need to waste the money on a school, after getting a $5000-10,000 fine they won’t be using prostitutes! Put the money in schools.

  2. Mike says:

    How absurd! The The pimps who have ensnared these poor women are the ones who should be punished with heavy fines and long prison sentences. The money go to a program to get these women out of the clutches of the pimps and in to a program that will get them off drugs and teach them skills and find jobs for them so that they have a chance to make something of their lives.

    Fine the Johns as well but only if the authorities have nailed the pimp as well. Remember, these young girls and women are usually from poor, troubled homes, many of them throwaway children. Life has been rough enough for them already they are the ones that should be helped. The bill in its present form is way off target.

    1. admin says:

      This article covers only this bill, not the entire legal structure. You seem to agree with this bill. The rest of your comments are best addressed by other laws and programs.

  3. denvervet says:

    I agree with Mike.

  4. Kaz says:

    This is a good start. It is important to have steep fines for prostitution, because without the johns there is no demand. The pimps do this because it is a lucrative business to sell women. It is second to Drugs. In fact drug traffickers are switching to sex trafficking because it is easier to move women than drugs. In addition it is also important for lawmakers to address the lenient laws that currently exist in most states.
    Social issues that cause women to leave their homes and become victims to predator pimps also need to be addressed. There are many different reasons why women end up in trafficking and why they stay. There are insufficient programs and transitional housing for victims and sex workers.
    There is no one solution to the problem but a large fines and john schools are certainly a step in the right direction. These are people’s mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, and friends. Nobody should be treated the way people who are trafficked are treated. Slavery needs to end and it will only end because we stand up and do something about it.

  5. Craig Smith says:

    We need to fine the prostitutes themselves as well as the pimps and jail them. The idea that most of these girls are ‘owned’ or in ‘sexual slavery’ in 2011 is a joke, most of them know what they’re doing and are too lazy to get real jobs and so they’re prostituting to feed their drug habit and buy expensive things.

    Prostitution should carry a mandatory 1 year sentence. Ideally, vigilante justice would take care of all of this – if you’re a pimp or a prostitute, you get beaten down badly. No need for police involvement… the police should step aside and let US clean up the community, then there wouldn’t be any more prostitution…

    Which scares the average criminal more – A jail sentence, a fine, or the possibility of spending the rest of their lives in a wheelchair? I think you know the answer.

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