‘Hey! Isn’t that Dad up on that billboard?’

‘Hey! Isn’t that Dad up on that billboard?’

SAN FRANCISCO – People who solicit prostitutes in Oakland, California, could find their faces plastered on billboards under a new shaming program that one civil rights group calls bad public policy.

The city of 400 000 across the bay from San Francisco started putting up billboards on Wednesday showing men arrested for soliciting sex. Other signs invite prostitutes to quit by calling a help line.”This idea came out of just thinking about new ideas, doing something to deal with this increasing problem, especially with the exploitation of underage women,” said Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who champions the approach.The photos on the billboards were partially blurred so the men are not easily identifiable.But in the future photos might be displayed unaltered, an aide to De La Fuente said.Critics say the technique – which De La Fuente said has been used in Texas – recalls mediaeval public humiliations.Some newspapers have long printed the names of those soliciting sex for money, and courts have backed punishments that include shaming.Last year a US federal appeals court allowed a punishment in which a mail thief had to wear a signboard telling of his crime.- Nampa-ReutersOther signs invite prostitutes to quit by calling a help line.”This idea came out of just thinking about new ideas, doing something to deal with this increasing problem, especially with the exploitation of underage women,” said Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who champions the approach.The photos on the billboards were partially blurred so the men are not easily identifiable.But in the future photos might be displayed unaltered, an aide to De La Fuente said.Critics say the technique – which De La Fuente said has been used in Texas – recalls mediaeval public humiliations.Some newspapers have long printed the names of those soliciting sex for money, and courts have backed punishments that include shaming.Last year a US federal appeals court allowed a punishment in which a mail thief had to wear a signboard telling of his crime.- Nampa-Reuters

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News