38 Hastings L.J. 769 (1986-1987)
The Highest Paying Customers: America's Cities and the Costs of Prostitution Control

handle is hein.journals/hastlj38 and id is 787 raw text is: The Highest Paying Customers: America's Cities and
the Costs of Prostitution Control
This study begins with some troubling statistics. Residents and visi-
tors in the city of Dallas reported over 15,000 violent crimes in 1985,1
only 2665 of which resulted in arrest.2 That same year, Dallas police
made 7280 prostitution arrests,3 which cost local taxpayers over $10 mil-
lion.4 More importantly, these prostitution arrests cost taxpayers over
300 hours daily, or 2170 hours weekly, of precious police manhours.5
Dallas residents pay a high price for police protection; indeed, theirs is
the eighth largest city police budget in the nation.6 They might expect a
higher arrest rate for violent crimes. However, arrests for prostitution, a
misdemeanor, exact a disproportionately high toll on law enforcement
The situation in Dallas is not unique. This study focuses on sixteen
of the nation's largest cities, in which only 28% of reported violent
crimes result in arrest.7 On average, police in these cities made as many
arrests for prostitution as for all violent offenses. Last year, police in
Boston, Cleveland, and Houston arrested twice as many people for pros-
titution as they did for all homicides, rapes, robberies, and assaults com-
CRIME REPORTS 104 table 6 (1986) [hereinafter UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS]. Violent crimes
include murder, voluntary manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault (at-
tacks usually accompanied by the use of weapons or other means likely to produce death or
severe bodily harm). Id. at 41 n.4. Arson is also included whenever possible, but official reports
of this offense are incomplete. Id. n.3.
2. Telephone interview with Charlene Kane, Uniform Crime Reporting Div., Texas
Dep't of Public Safety (Feb. 2, 1987); see infra table 2 col. c. The tables appended to this Note
are based on telephone interviews with city vice officers, city police department records offi-
cials, state crime reporting authorities, and statistics from UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS, supra
INAL JUSTICE STATISTICS 1985 (1986) [hereinafter SOURCEBOOK 1985]. Interviews were con-
ducted in May 1985 and February 1987 with police officials in 20 of the 22 cities in the United
States with populations greater than 500,000 (based on 1985 estimates). See Introduction to
the Tables, infra. All quotations and-police information referred to in this study, except as
otherwise indicated, may be found in the transcripts of these interviews on file with The Has-
tings Law Journal.
3. See infra table 2 col. e.
4. See infra table 4 col. d.
5. See infra table I col. d.
6. Jackson, Police, Fire and Refuse Collection, in THE MUNICIPAL YEARBOOK 1986, at
137 table 4/10 (1986).
7. See infra table 2 cols. a & C; see also UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS, supra note 1, at 156
table 20.


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