|Posted:||March 2, 2017 03:23 PM|
|From:||Representative Sheryl M. Delozier and Rep. Jordan A. Harris|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Clean Slate legislation|
|We will be reintroducing Clean Slate legislation, similar to House Bill 1984 of the 2015-2016 legislative session, to provide those with low-level, nonviolent criminal records a mechanism to have their record sealed from public view.
This legislation builds upon Act 5 of 2016, which passed the House 187-2 and provided for a process of sealing low level, non-violent misdemeanors. Under Act 5 individuals must petition the court, where our legislation will implement automatic sealing of records with no action required by the individual.
Nearly three million Pennsylvanians – 37.5% or more than one-third – of the Commonwealth’s working-age citizens, are estimated to have criminal records. Many have only minor offenses, such as misdemeanors, while others simply have arrests without conviction. Unfortunately, having even a minor criminal record carries lifelong barriers that can block successful re-entry and participation in society. What’s more, nearly half of Pennsylvania children have a parent with a record, and the associated barriers to employment, housing, and more can impact family life.
The legislation proposes the following structure for sealing records:
This proposal enjoys bipartisan support from groups across Pennsylvania and the nation, including Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, U.S. Justice Action Network, and Center for American Progress. As with HB 1984, we expect this legislation will also garner bipartisan support in the General Assembly.
Introduced as HB1419