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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2014 09:43 AM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expungement
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 391 of last session, which was Senator Solobay’s bill expanding the availability of expungement. The bill amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to allow individuals who have served their punishment and remained free of arrest or prosecution for seven to ten years, for nonviolent third and second degree misdemeanors, to petition the court for their record to be expunged.

A low-level misdemeanor in a person’s past can often serve as a continual barrier when seeking work, long after they have completed their sentence. My legislation proposes that the Commonwealth join a growing number of states that have expanded their expungement laws to reduce the period during which a minor criminal record can punish people. This legislation would benefit not just former offenders, but Pennsylvania as a whole, by countering high rates of recidivism, relieving an overburdened pardon system, and providing an opportunity for ex-offenders to join our workforce.

The Senate passed this bill unanimously in the last session, but the House did not bring the bill up for a vote.

Introduced as SB166