Barbara Amaya was a few months into a new job when her boss called her over and showed her a stack of papers, asking, “What’s this?”

It was her criminal record – but she didn’t know how to explain that all those prostitution arrests happened because she had been forced by a trafficker. The single mother of a 3-year-old at that time, she had to start the job hunt all over again.

Those criminal records “followed me in every way, shape, and form throughout my life,” Ms. Amaya says. “Even if they didn’t affect every application I filled out, they affected me mentally – carrying the stigma of being called a criminal.

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