What is Project Dawn Court?

Prostitution is an offense that is commonly committed in the greater Philadelphia region. In the city, more than 800 women are arrested for prostitution annually and approximately 200 people are arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Nearly one-third of women booked into the city's jail has had a prostitution offense. In 2010, Project Dawn Court was implemented as an alternative or diversionary program that is focused on rehabilitating these offenders.

Prostitution and Related Offenses (§ 5902)

The offense of prostitution may be committed by an individual that is “an inmate of a house of prostitution” or participates in any sexual activities as a business. It may occur when an individual is loitering in a public venue seeking to be hired to participate in sexual activities.

First and second-time offenders are charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. For a third offense, the changes are enhanced to a misdemeanor of the second degree. This is punishable by up to two years of imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine. Prostitution offenses are often accompanied by drug-related charges.

Project Dawn Court

The Project Dawn Court Diversionary Program is for women with multiple convictions for prostitution. This court program was the first of its kind in the U.S. The District Attorney is responsible for determining offender appropriateness and eligibility. Women who have been currently charged with prostitution are eligible. When they are accepted to the program the pending criminal proceedings are paused. Those who complete the program are then eligible to have their criminal charges dismissed.

Four Primary Phases

  • To abstain from alcohol consumption and drug abuse for 30 days
  • The completion of 90 days of outpatient treatment that may include educational programming and support services
  • Participate in 120 days of “intensive treatment for sexual trauma”
  • Complete a 120-day program of “reintegration”

Participants typically attend monthly hearings to measure progress. During these sessions, the defendants are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings with others to derive therapeutic benefits.

Defendants may undergo counseling and treatment related to child sex abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, parenting, and others. The process may be completed in as little as one year. Those who violate the requirements and conditions may face sanctions including an order to restart the program or be removed from the program. After completion of the program, the defendant must have no subsequent arrests for one year to have their charges expunged.

Recent Developments in Project Dawn Court

Thus far, more 70% of participants are successful in graduating from the program. The number of those entering the program each year is estimated to expand to 70 or more. Expansion of the Project Dawn Court was recently aided by a federal grant of $250,000.

Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia

LLF Law Firm has been effectively representing clients in Pennsylvania that are charged with various criminal offenses for many years.  They closely review the allegations, evidence, and circumstances to design a powerful defense strategy. For a complimentary case consultation, contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.