Crime, Law and Social Change

, 32:83

Prostitution control in America: Rethinking public policy

  • Ronald Weitzer

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008305200324

Cite this article as:
Weitzer, R. Crime, Law and Social Change (1999) 32: 83. doi:10.1023/A:1008305200324


In the past two decades there has been little critical examination of the prevailing methods of controlling prostitution in the United States. This article examines selected problems in the control of prostitution in the United States and critically assesses three major alternatives to the prevailing policy of criminalization. Alternative approaches are evaluated using the criteria of public preferences, efficient use of criminal justice resources, and harm reduction. One policy, involving a dualistic approach, is found to be superior in satisfying these criteria.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Weitzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA (e-mail