A PennLive editorial discusses how Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act opens the door to criminal record-clearing for countless residents—many of whom will automatically have their records cleared when the law goes into full effect in June 2019. The reform represents a step forward in Pennsylvania’s ongoing criminal justice reform movement.
After Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to pass clean slate legislation, Gov. Tom Wolf launched a new program to help residents determine whether they are eligible to have their criminal record sealed under the law. The program, called My Clean Slate, will offer free legal advice to help Pennsylvanians understand how they can benefit from the reform. Learn more about how automatic record-sealing works—and why it’s important for individuals, families, communities, and the economy.
As implementation of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act continues, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced the launch of My Clean Slate, a program that will help Pennsylvanians determine whether they are eligible to have their records cleared under the state’s new clean slate law. With support from Community Legal Services and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, My Clean Slate will offer free legal consultations to ensure that all eligible residents are able benefit from the state’s groundbreaking reform. The first-in-the-nation law will help hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians with records get the second chance they’ve earned.
David Plouffe and Mark Holden are on different sides of the aisle but have come together to support clean slate legislation that will give millions of Americans a second chance and revitalize the economy. As they write in USA Today, current criminal justice laws fail at ensuring people with criminal records can get jobs, education, and housing after they have paid their debt to society—costing the United States up to $87 billion in gross domestic product every year. Passing legislation that automatically clears the records of certain criminal records is a commonsense solution that is good for individuals, good for families, and good for society.
CAP and More Than 25 Partners Launch National Bipartisan ‘Clean Slate’ Initiative to Automate Clearing of Criminal Records
The Center for American Progress announced the launch of a bipartisan initiative to advance clean slate policies in states across the country, supported by more than 25 organizations across the political spectrum. Founded with investments from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the clean slate campaign harnesses the momentum of the successful push to enact clean slate legislation in Pennsylvania. Clean slate campaigns are now underway in Michigan, Colorado, and South Carolina, with more states following suit in the near future. The initiative builds on the on early investments from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, an early supporter of the movement to close the second chance gap that keeps too many eligible Americans from clearing their criminal records.
TalkPoverty featured a first-person story from someone who would directly benefit from clean slate in Pennsylvania. Donna Henderson’s criminal record kept her from job opportunities for 30 years, but thanks to the state’s clean slate law, her family now has a second chance. “I was convicted of two nonviolent misdemeanors decades ago, and they have haunted me, and my daughter, ever since,” Henderson writes. “New legislation in my home state of Pennsylvania, passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by the Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, would help people like me rebuild our lives.”