Professor Joh Comments on Undercover Policing for SF Weekly
Professor Elizabeth Joh commented on undercover police operations in San Francisco for an article in the SF Weekly. The article focuses on arrests made as part of the city's First Offender Prostitution Program (FOPP), which targets men who buy sex from women and uses undercover female officers posing as prostitutes. The program has generated controversy because men have been arrested for loitering with intent to engage in solicitation even if they do not agree to pay money for sex.
Professor Joh commented that the statute criminalizing loitering for the purposes of prostitution has been upheld in a 1998 Court of Appeal judgment, but that she "wouldn't be surprised if this is used too often... It's a very flexible tool that appears to confer a great deal of discretion upon the police."
Elizabeth Joh is a Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law who researches in the areas of criminal law and procedure. She has special interests in the fields of policing, criminal justice privatization, and the sociology of law.
SF Weekly article