Overcoming the Criminalization of Human Trafficking Survivors

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 21, 2022

Stephany Powell
Stephany Powell, PhD
Sergeant, Los Angeles Police Department (Ret.)
Director of Law Enforcement Training and Survivor Services, National Center on Sexual Exploitation
Jamie Beck
Jamie Beck, JD
President & Managing Attorney
Free to Thrive
Mary-Ellen Barrett
Mary-Ellen Barrett, JD
Deputy District Attorney
Office of San Diego District Attorney

This panel will discuss the criminalization of human trafficking survivors and the ways advocates and attorneys can support survivors and help them clear their criminal records. The topics discussed will include: the intersection of the criminalization of survivors with racial justice, criminal court advocacy, affirmative defenses, criminal vacatur, changes in the laws nationally, power of vacatur for survivors, and how to build relationships with prosecution and educate the legal system.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Identify the various ways in which trafficking victims and survivors end up in our criminal system.
  • Develop strategies to raise awareness of the impact of a criminal record on trafficking survivors and the many barriers they face as a result.
  • Recognize what criminal vacatur is and how it can be used to support human trafficking survivors.
  • Help survivors overcome the barriers they face because of their criminalization.


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