Dayton City Law Department Reviewing No Ho’ Zone Legalities… | October 12, 2007

Updating details about recently announced efforts by the City of Dayton to address prostitution issues , Tom Biedenhorn, of the Public Affairs office, said that the City Law Department is currently reviewing proposed language for an ordinance creating restricted activity, or, “No Ho’ Zones”,  in different parts of the city. The ordinance, part of a wider effort at addressing the prostitution issue, is expected to come before the City Commission by the end of October or early November. As currently envisioned, the ordinance would provide a way for police to arrest alleged prostitutes for loitering after a 1st warning to leave the targeted area. Loitering laws have been challenged as unconstitutional infringement on the rights of people to”gather peaceably” and, according to Mr Biednhorn, addressing this question is part of the Law Departments charge in crafting the wording of the ordinance.

Community feedback has been negative from some quarters, with neighborhood associations [not specified] objecting to identifying the target areas with signs , fearful that this would present a negative view of the area to people unfamiliar with the problem. In this view police already know the areas and the signs are unnecessary provocations. Others have raised objections to the general concept, arguing that it could have negative effects on housing valuations and possibly create insurance related issues.

Concurrent with ordinance drafting are plans involving the Sunrise Center to develop “John Schools” where offenders convicted of solicitation would be required to attend programs aimed at deterrence conditioning. Also on the table, but not as visible, are plans to work with the courts and social service agencies to develop direct assistance programs for women seeking avenues out of the “life”. Dayton Municipal court currently has a limited diversion program operated in cooperation with the Center for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services [CADAS] but, with limited funding of only $30,000 per year, the number of women directly assisted is quite small, ten having completed the program, five of whom have re-offended with Soliciting offenses. The Municipal Court Probation department is seeking additional funding for the program.

In 2006 Dayton-wide arrests for prostitution related crime reached 1, 496. Of this number 1,062 were between the ages of 21 & 40 . The arrests cover public indecency , soliciting for prostitution, promoting prostitution etc. Statistically, prostitution related crime in Dayton rose 23% from 2005 to 2006. 68% of arrestees were repeat offenders, 68% have been raped, 82% physically assaulted and, a disheartening 85-90% showing evidence of crack cocaine use/addiction.

“We are not going to completely solve this millennium old problem with any of these programs”, Biedenhorn said, “it is a bit of a whack-a-mole issue, but, hopefully we can reduce the number of moles being whacked…”


1 Comment »

  1. There was a big article in todays paper about the prostitution issue, quoting you and having yr pix.

    I recall going to your store years ago, buying some old vinyl there.

    Anyway, one hopes that this no ho zone and thir more social-work approach might help. Another thing that articles had were some maps showing where the problem areas.

    It looks Xenia Avenue is the worst, and a place I didnt think about, Keowee Street, is number three. More widespread than I thought.

    Comment by Jeff — October 14, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

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