Ashleigh Pelto


This Note defines criminal record relief and analyzes the effectiveness of three state criminal record relief statutes at protecting trafficking survivors. This analysis is based on State Report Cards: Grading Criminal Record Relief Laws for Survivors of Human Trafficking by Polaris, a leading human trafficking nonprofit. It next discusses the absence of federal criminal record relief and how a statute at the federal level could provide relief for survivors with federal convictions while simultaneously providing a model for states to ensure their statutes incorporate best practices for record relief moving forward. This Note then discusses how Polaris’s report stops short of providing a model statute for states to draw from. Finally, this Note provides a best practice statute based on Polaris’s evaluation criteria and recommends it be added as an amendment to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.