From the Daily Beast:
“There was no way to go back and erase a criminal conviction in New York,” says Sienna Baskin, co-director of the organization the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center. SWP is a legal advocacy organization that helps sex workers of all kinds, from trafficked individuals to those who freely engage in commercial sex. In 2007, SWP helped create the New York Anti-Trafficking law, which made human trafficking a statewide offense.
“We wanted to have as part of that law a remedy for people who’ve been convicted of prostitution,” said Baskin, but it wasn’t included in the final bill. So in 2010, they drafted and were instrumental in passing Criminal Procedure Law §440.10(1)(i), which allows judges to vacate convictions directly related to an individual’s history as a trafficked person. This law, the first of its kind in the nation, gave Maria and other survivors the chance to truly leave their pasts behind. It also sparked a wave of similar organizing around the country.