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Jessica Emerson

2013, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Jessica Emerson

Jessica Emerson

Name of Host Organization: The Women's Law Center of Maryland
City, State: Towson, Maryland
Issue area: Immigrant Populations - Trafficking/Slavery
Sponsors: David Stern Equal Justice Works Fellowship

The Project

Jessica used Maryland’s law that allows sex trafficking survivors to have their prostitution convictions vacated, helping them to ensure they will no longer be prevented from moving forward with their lives because of convictions stemming from acts they were forced to commit.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Many victims of commercialized sex trafficking must endure both the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction and the stigma of involvement in prostitution. They remain extremely vulnerable to further exploitation and often continue to be involved in prostitution even after having escaped a trafficker. Jessica’s project addresses this injustice by providing direct representation to survivors in the Baltimore area seeking to vacate their prostitution convictions. She also trains attorneys to represent survivors in other parts of the state.