By: MOLLY WICKER
The Human Trafficking Institute’s 2017 Federal Human Trafficking Report was cited as a source of data in an article published by The Washington Post on March 16, 2019. The article, entitled “Maryland is an unforgiving state for sex-trafficking victims, study finds” outlines the ways in which Maryland’s criminal justice systems makes it harder for victims of trafficking to completely distance themselves from the crime.
According to a recent study, Maryland ranks last in the nation when it comes to criminal records relief for sex-trafficking survivors. In 2018, federal prosecutors in Maryland filed criminal charges against 15 defendants in human trafficking cases, according to the Institute’s 2017 Federal Human Trafficking Report. Fourteen of the defendants were in sex-trafficking cases.
A new bill moving through Maryland’s General Assembly, the “True Freedom Act of 2019,” would allow courts to remove certain convictions such as drug possession and misdemeanor theft if they were a result of a victim’s human trafficker. It would also make the process of removing convictions easier by allowing a victim to petition to remove convictions without the approval of the State Attorney.
Read the entire article here.