There is new hope for men and women who’ve been caught in the cycle of human trafficking. Victims with a history of solicitation, prostitution, and loitering can now have their records expunged. Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the human trafficking safe harbor bill in June 2012, and ever since, Franklin County court leaders have been working to create a system to process those expungements.
Franklin County Municipal Judge Paul M. Herbert said, “Right now in Columbus, Ohio we got about 1,000 to 1,500 women being arrested, and about 60 men a year.” Herbert said. “We’re spending $5.4 million a year to arrest and jail women accused of prostitution.” Starting on May 1, Herbert’s court will help some of the victims expunge their records through the human trafficking safe harbor bill.
In 2009, Judge Herbert created the C.A.T.C.H. program, which stands for Changing Actions to Change Habits, and has helped 150 women leave a life of prostitution. “They’re going to college. They’re getting valid driver’s licenses. They’re being reunited with their family. They’re getting jobs, paying taxes. You know, that’s what I think justice ought to be about,” he said.
Learn more at Denise Yost’s NBC4i.com article: Human Trafficking Victims Can Now Have Records Cleared.