Pennsylvania

Restoration of Rights Project – Pennsylvania Profile

Guide to restoration of rights, pardon, sealing & expungement following a Pennsylvania criminal conviction

From Expungement to Sealing of Criminal Records in Pennsylvania

Sharon Dietrich, Penn. Bar Ass’n Quarterly 161 (Oct. 2016)

Juvenile Record Expungement in Pennsylvania

 Guide from the Juvenile Law Center

The Pennsylvania Juvenile Collateral Consequences Checklist

Pennsylvania Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (April 2015)


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Related blog posts:

  • New research report: Four Years of Second Chance Reforms, 2013-2016 (2/8/2017) - Introduction Since 2013, almost every state has taken at least some steps to chip away at the negative effects of a criminal record on an individual’s ability to earn a living, access housing, education and public benefits, and otherwise fully participate in civil society.  It has not been an easy task, in part because of the volume and complexity of [...]
  • Expungement in Pennsylvania explained (11/8/2016) - Pennsylvania has been active in recent years in expanding its judicial relief mechanisms, though it still has a long way to go to catch up to states like Kentucky, Missouri, and New Jersey, which have in the past 12 months extended their expungement laws to some felonies and/or reduced waiting periods.  No one has been more active and effective in [...]
  • New Yorker comments on collateral consequences (6/2/2016) - Lincoln Caplan writes in this week’s New Yorker about Judge Frederic Block’s decision last week to reduce a woman’s prison sentence because of the life-altering collateral penalties she faced on account of her drug conviction.  After describing the facts of the case and the judge’s reasoning, Caplan concludes with the following comments about what Jeremy Travis has called “invisible ingredients [...]
  • Expungement expansion round-up (2016 edition) (5/23/2016) - More and more states are enacting new expungement and sealing laws, or expanding existing ones, some covering convictions for the first time.  The first four months of 2016 alone saw courts given significant new authority to limit access to criminal records in four states, and bills have been introduced in several others that promise more new laws in months to [...]
  • Challenge to SORNA retroactivity reaches Pennsylvania Supreme Court (5/16/2016) - In the last few years, Pennsylvania’s courts have taken an active role in defining the propriety and scope of the state’s sex offender registration program.  Following on the heels of a December 2014 decision striking down sex offender registration for juveniles, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a sweeping challenge to the retroactive application of Pennsylvania’s adult sex offender [...]
  • A wide-ranging look at sex offender registration in PA and beyond (4/25/2016) - The Cumberland County (Pennsylvania) Sentinel recently published a series of articles by Joshua Vaughn that examine the operation and effect of sex offender registration laws from a variety of perspectives. We summarize the articles with links to the Sentinel’s website. Finding statistics to fit a narrative Original article Vaughn traces the “frightening and high risk of recidivism” for untreated sex offenders that [...]
  • Employment bars in long-term health care facilities declared unconstitutional (1/5/2016) - A few days ago we received the following communique from Sharon Dietrich of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, announcing a major litigation victory that will be welcome news across the country.  On December 30 a unanimous 7-judge appeals court struck down the provisions of the Pennsylvania Older Americans Protective Services Act barring employment of people with criminal records in long-term [...]
  • Lawsuit challenges Pennsylvania bar to nursing home employment (6/1/2015) - An effective NPR piece tells the story of Tyrone Peake, a Pennsylvania man whose 1981 conviction for attempted theft barred him from employment as a caregiver in a nursing home, despite training and certification that qualified him for the job.  The state law making people with a felony record absolutely ineligible for employment in any health care facility in the state [...]
  • Putting teeth in Heller’s promise for people with a conviction: Second Amendment litigation round-up (2/26/2015) - Alan Gura describes in this post recent efforts to persuade federal courts that people who have lost their firearms rights by virtue of a criminal conviction may be entitled to claim the protections of the Second Amendment.  Alan himself has spearheaded this litigation for the Second Amendment Foundation, following up his Supreme Court victories in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald [...]
  • Another court invalidates federal felon-in-possession statute on Second Amendment grounds (2/19/2015) - A second federal court in Pennsylvania has held that the federal felon-in possession statute cannot constitutionally be applied to an individual convicted many years ago of a minor non-violent offense. In Suarez v. Holder, the district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that a man convicted in 1990 of misdemeanor possession of an unregistered handgun and sentenced to [...]