In 2015, Mikhail Arroyo had a debilitating fall. After emerging from a coma, he was transferred to a nursing home in 2016. Months after the initial accident, with the help of a wheelchair and slowly regaining his speech, Mikhail left the nursing home under the care of his mother. The only problem: He had been flagged by a background check agency and was not allowed to move into the new apartment his mother found for them. When he was 20 years old, Arroyo was arrested for a retail theft of less than $150. That single interaction with the law followed Mikhail until 2017, when his lawyers helped him challenge the restrictions from the housing agency. Mikhail is one of thousands of people shut out of housing, education, and jobs because of a criminal record. Clean slate legislation could help people like Mikhail, by automatically clearing records and giving people the second chance they deserve.
Under Pennsylvania’s clean slate law, hundreds of thousands of residents will have their criminal records sealed, helping them get the second chance that they deserve. Starting the new year with commonsense reform, Gov. Tom Wolf and a bipartisan coalition of legislators are making the essential choice to “hold [people] to account for what they have done right.”
A PennLive editorial discusses how Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act opens the door to criminal record-clearing for countless residents—many of whom will automatically have their records cleared when the law goes into full effect in June 2019. The reform represents a step forward in Pennsylvania’s ongoing criminal justice reform movement.
After Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to pass clean slate legislation, Gov. Tom Wolf launched a new program to help residents determine whether they are eligible to have their criminal record sealed under the law. The program, called My Clean Slate, will offer free legal advice to help Pennsylvanians understand how they can benefit from the reform. Learn more about how automatic record-sealing works—and why it’s important for individuals, families, communities, and the economy.
As implementation of Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act continues, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced the launch of My Clean Slate, a program that will help Pennsylvanians determine whether they are eligible to have their records cleared under the state’s new clean slate law. With support from Community Legal Services and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, My Clean Slate will offer free legal consultations to ensure that all eligible residents are able benefit from the state’s groundbreaking reform. The first-in-the-nation law will help hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians with records get the second chance they’ve earned.
David Plouffe and Mark Holden are on different sides of the aisle but have come together to support clean slate legislation that will give millions of Americans a second chance and revitalize the economy. As they write in USA Today, current criminal justice laws fail at ensuring people with criminal records can get jobs, education, and housing after they have paid their debt to society—costing the United States up to $87 billion in gross domestic product every year. Passing legislation that automatically clears the records of certain criminal records is a commonsense solution that is good for individuals, good for families, and good for society.