Restoration of Rights Project – Pennsylvania Profile

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

Opening Doors: How Philadelphia Area Colleges Can Promote Access & Equity by “Banning the Box”

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (Aug. 2017)

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:

  • First fair chance licensing reforms of 2024 (3/27/2024) - Expanding employment opportunities in licensed occupations has been a priority for criminal record reformers in the past half dozen years. Happily, fair chance licensing reforms also appear less politically controversial than some others, with Midwestern states like Iowa and Indiana among the most progressive in the Nation in their treatment of justice-impacted license applicants and licensees. In the first three [...]
  • Two significant new occupational licensing laws enacted in 2021 (2/4/2021) - After 11 states enacted 19 laws limiting consideration of criminal records by occupational licensing agencies last year, the first significant record reforms of 2021 are occupational licensing laws enacted by Ohio and the District of Columbia.  D.C.’s new law is particularly comprehensive, and applies both to health-related and other licensed professions in the District. The new District of Columbia law, [...]
  • How Utah Got Automatic Expungement (1/15/2021) - Editor’s note: We are pleased to publish this fascinating account of how one state transformed its record relief system in little more than a year from a standing start, written by a person who had a central role in the transformation.      In March of 2019, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 431, Utah’s Clean Slate law.  At the [...]
  • Report card on licensing laws finds progress, but still a way to go (6/25/2020) - The Institute for Justice, a leader in advocacy for reforming occupational licensing laws, has just issued a major new report grading the states on the opportunities they give to people with a criminal record.  The press release and links are below.  We are not at all surprised that Indiana got the best grade—or that so many states “tied for dead [...]
  • PA high court will again review sex offender registration (4/9/2019) - Two years ago, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shook up long-settled orthodoxy by ruling that the state’s sex offender registration law, otherwise known as SORNA (Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act) was punishment. The case, Commonwealth v. Muniz, 164 A.3d 1189 (Pa. 2018), presented the Court with two questions: whether people who committed their crimes before the adoption of the law could [...]
  • Bumper crop of new expungement laws expected in 2019 (4/9/2019) - Earlier this year we reported that, in 2018, legislatures enacted an unprecedented number of new laws aimed at restoring rights and opportunities for people with a criminal record.  (Last year 32 states, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands enacted 61 new laws to facilitate reentry and reintegration.)  The first quarter of 2019 has already produced a baker’s dozen of new restoration laws, [...]
  • PA prepares to implement clean slate (3/14/2019) - Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS), with the leadership of Sharon M. Dietrich, has issued a report on the progress made towards implementing Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act.  (See our post describing this ground-breaking law when it was enacted last June.)  Notably, the state is “on target” to start automated sealing of criminal records by the onset date of June 28, 2019.  As [...]
  • Automated sealing nears enactment in Pennsylvania (6/25/2018) - [NOTE:  On June 30, HR 1419 was signed into law as Act 56.  Its provisions have been incorporated into the Pennsylvania profile of the Restoration of Rights Project.] On Friday June 22, the Pennsylvania legislature took its final step toward passage of the so-called Clean Slate Act of 2018, delivering to Governor Wolf a bill (HR 1419) that he has [...]
  • New expungement legislation: Maryland and Oklahoma (5/8/2018) - The trend toward expanding expungement and sealing laws is continuing.  In the last week of April, the governors of Maryland and Oklahoma signed bills enlarging eligibility criteria and reducing waiting periods, joining Florida and Utah with new record-sealing enactments in 2018.  The provisions of these two newest laws are described below.  Similar legislation is well along in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee [...]
  • Big win for sex offenders in PA as registration held punishment (7/20/2017) - Yesterday, in Commonwealth v. Muniz, __A.3d__ (Pa., July 19, 2017) (47 MAP 2016), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held what for a long time has been obvious to many: that sex offender registration is punishment. Five Justices declared that Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act’s (SORNA) “registration provisions constitute punishment under Article 1, Section 17 of the Pennsylvania Constitution — [...]