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WASHINGTON, DC - FreedomWorks cheers the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s passage of the Clean Slate Act, in the House in April by a vote of 188-2 and in the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 49-0. Governor Wolf has previously stated that he will sign the bill into law, representing a significant step in the right direction for criminal justice reform for the state.
The Clean Slate Act’s benefits are manifold. The law will benefit public safety and save taxpayer dollars, while at the same time allowing for reformed offenders to rejoin society as the productive members they wish to be.
FreedomWorks Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Jason Pye, commented:
“As states have continually taken the lead on criminal justice reform in the past decade or so, it is encouraging to see Pennsylvania doing the same. Always the laboratories of policy innovation, states such as this one have been able to craft, with input from across the political spectrum, legislation that has overwhelming support. Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act is a prime example of this.
“This innovative legislation that utilizes today’s technology to an impressive extent will serve as a marker and a model for what is possible across all states to further break down barriers to reentry. The current process for petitioning to have a record sealed is cumbersome and backlogged, wasting resources while unnecessarily disabling many former nonviolent misdemeanor offenders from access to employment, education, and stability that are critical to continued success in society.
“Reversing this by sealing records automatically of those qualified individuals who have remained crime-free for a predetermined period of time is quite simply a no-brainer. We look forward to seeing it signed into law by Gov. Wolf, and even more so to see the marked effects it will have on individual lives, on the state as a whole, and on communities across the country as other states look toward and follow Pennsylvania’s lead.”