John Howard Society of Durham Region

John School

What you need to know about accessing our John  School program during the COVID-19 pandemic…

Please contact Beth Whalen –

John School is a diversion program sometimes offered by the court as an alternative to criminal prosecution for the clients of sex workers who have been arrested for soliciting sexual services or other related offenses.  It is an 8 hour educational program about the realities of sex work and brings awareness to the impact of prostitution on families and the community including the sex worker.  There is a fee attached to this diversion option and the proceeds are used to provide important support programming to persons involved in the sex trade. Upon completion of the diversion requirements the charge is then withdrawn.

John School Agenda:

A typical education day would contain the following macro and micro level views:


  • Facilitator – Welcome, introduction to program, sets guidelines and provides guidance and facilitates exercises throughout the day in between speakers.
  • Durham Regional Police Services – an officer speaks to the sex trade from a police prospective.
  • Crown Attorney – A Crown or Deputy Crown Attorney discusses all the possible legal ramifications of being convicted of a prostitution related offense.
  • Durham Public Sexual Health Nurse – talks about the risks of various sexually transmitted infections and prevention of same.


  • Community Member – A homeowner that lives/has lived in an area where they have experienced the presence of sex trade activity speaks to what it is like for themselves their family to have to cope with it happening in their neighbourhood .
  • Ex-Wife of a John – shares her personal experiences on how sex work impacted her marriage and family unit as a whole.
  • Former John – speaks to the effect it had on his life, the recognition that sexual addiction may play a role and where to get help.
  • Former Sex Worker – shares her story and the realities of sex work as well as the impact it had on her life and the lives of her children.
  • Wrap-Up and Information given on John Howard Society of Durham Region services and how to access them as well as other available resources and services.
  • Exit Certificates handed out.

For further information, contact:

Beth Whalen at 905-579-8482