Governor Paterson Signs New Bill Clearing Prostitution Convictions, in Certain Cases

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This afternoon, Governor Paterson signed a new law allowing individuals to have prostitution convictions cleared from their criminal records if they were forced into sex work or related crimes like loitering. Having to, you know, disclose a prostitution conviction rarely helps one start his or her new life, and victims of forced prostitution have previously faced "major impediments" when applying for jobs, housing, or immigration status, even after having been recruited, assaulted, and/or held against their wills. Many advocates for sex workers cheered the bill's signing, calling it the first of its kind. [City Room/NYT]