John Howard Society of Durham Region

John School

What you need to know about accessing the John  School Program 

John School is a diversion program often referred to by the court as an alternative to criminal prosecution for service users 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 Upon completion of the diversion requirements the charge is then withdrawn.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, provides guidance, and facilitates exercises throughout the day in between speakers.
  • Durham Regional Police Services – an officer speaks about 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 – informs service users 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 about what it is like for themselves and 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 about 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