Clean Slate Expansion Seeks Record Sealing Of Low Level Felonies

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) — In 2018, former Governor Tom Wolf signed clean slate legislation into law. Since the passage of the Pennsylvania Clean Slate Law, ten other states have launched similar programs.

Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate program currently seals the records of non-violent misdemeanors following a waiting period of ten-crime-free years. Since automated sealing began in 2019, over 40 million cases have been automatically sealed, and over 1.2 million people have had a record sealed.

Wednesday, lawmakers and advocates in Harrisburg discussed their efforts to expand clean slate to include low level, non-violent felonies. Prosecutors, business leaders and criminal justice reform advocates all agree that expanding clean slate would lift the Commonwealth.

“This is a people issue. This is a jobs issue. This is an economic issue and it’s a fairness issue. It’s time that we give people a second chance when they’ve earned it. They’ve worked for it and they deserve it. That’s what we’re trying to do with this bill,” said Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland).

Reps. Delozier and Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) are the sponsors of House Bill 689, which would make drug felonies, and some property-related felonies, eligible for sealing after ten years without a conviction.

The bill is expected to receive a vote in the House Judiciary Committee next Tuesday before it can head to the House floor.


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