Millions of criminal records slated for automatic sealing on anniversary of historic Clean Slate Act

HARRISBURG, June 28 – Joined by Gov. Tom Wolf, a bipartisan group of lawmakers and advocates, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., spoke today on the importance of the initiation of automatic criminal record sealing on the one-year anniversary of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act becoming law.

“Today represents the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and collaboration between Representative Sheryl Delozier, me and countless other legislators and advocates who are looking to help those who have paid their debt to society truly get their second chance,” Harris said. “This first-of-its-kind legislation put Pennsylvania on the map as a national leader in positive criminal justice reform and shows that we’re serious about the benefits criminal justice reform has for all taxpayers.”

“Clean Slate helps people who have paid their debt to society to find housing and work without being affected by a decades-old infraction,” Delozier said. “This program gives people a second chance. It helps them move on with their lives if they have not had further police interaction.”

Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act provides for automatic sealing of records for:

  • Non-violent misdemeanor convictions after a person has remained crime-free for 10 years.
  • Non-conviction records.

Pennsylvania expects to automatically seal up to 30 million low-level criminal records by 2020. Since the Clean Slate Act was signed into law last June, those who qualified for criminal record sealing had to file a petition with the court system to have their record sealed.

“One of the most exciting aspects of today is that we’re not done,” Harris added. “I’m honored to continue working with Representative Delozier and bipartisan advocates on probation and parole reform as well as occupational licensure reform. The appetite is there to help Pennsylvanians who have paid their debt to society get the opportunities they need to contribute positively to their community and support their family.”