Legal Aid Society


Listen: A Fresh Start for Trafficking Survivors

Leigh Latimer, Supervising Attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Exploitation Intervention Project recently joined The Capitol Pressroom to discuss New York State’s Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together (START) Act and its positive effect on survivors of labor or sex trafficking.

Latimer explained that the new law allows survivors to vacate any criminal conviction obtained as a result of trafficking not just those related to prostitution, allowing individuals to rebuild their lives.

“Just about any job that you apply for there’s a criminal background check, landlords do criminal background checks,” she said. “It’s just a fact of life that people who have a criminal conviction are going to have to deal with it at some point in their life and struggle to overcome the consequences.”

“The beginning is very tough, and it’s tough emotionally on them,” says Latimer of the undertaking for clients clearing convictions. “But by the time we get to the end of the process and the motion has been granted the clients are so grateful and so relieved that they don’t have to think about their criminalization, they don’t have to think about their trafficking.”

Listen to the full segment below.