Patty Kim: Criminal record expungement bill headed to governor

HARRISBURG, Jan. 27 – Language that would allow criminal record expungement in certain situations, written by state Reps. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, and Jordan Harris, D-Phila., is on its way to becoming law.

“I am thrilled that criminal expungement legislation will finally become law in Pennsylvania,” Kim said. “There are too many cases in which people make a mistake when they're young and it wreaks havoc on their life for years to come. Making record expungement more accessible prevents a completed sentence from becoming an indefinite sentence.”

Kim and Harris’ language is in S.B. 166, which would allow people convicted of a third- or second-degree misdemeanor, if at least 10 years have passed since they completed their sentence, to request the opportunity to appear before a judge and ask for an order for limited access of their criminal record. Criminal justice and government agencies would not be subject to the order for limited access, and they still would be able to see a person’s entire criminal record information.

“This will help thousands of Pennsylvanians who have turned their lives around to find employment and contribute to society,” Kim said. “The more people who are successful after prison means less of a financial drain for prison costs and court systems.”

The governor is expected to sign the bill in the next few days.