I just came from performing volunteer work at the Yesha Ministries Ballroom, 23rd Street and Snyder Avenue in Philadelphia, where the office of Pennsylvania State Representative Jordan Harris held a clinic around the new Clean Slate Law, sponsored by Representative Harris, whereby people who were convicted of a low-level, nonviolent misdemeanor and has stayed out of trouble for at least a decade, could ask the court to place a seal on their records; only a criminal justice agency, a state licensing agency, and the state Department of Human Services and county children and youth agencies could have access to such records. This would alleviate a person’s barrier to employment, so they can make their lives better and correct the errors they made.
Attorneys from the Barristers’ Association and Community Legal Services were on hand to guide former felons through the process, and representatives from the state Board of Pardons were there to help them apply for a pardon from the Governor. There was also information on Pennsylvania’s Real ID program, property tax and rent rebates,attaining a free credit report, and crime prevention.
This is an important issue; people who have made serious mistakes in life-and who hasn’t?-and who want to change their ways must have every opportunity to do so.
For further information about the Clean Slate program, contact the office of Pennsylvania State Representative Jordan Harris at www.pahouse.com/harris.