Last week, landmark “Clean Slate” legislation to automatically seal the records of certain low-level offenders became law in Pennsylvania. Sponsored by Representative Sheryl Delozier, a Republican who represents part of Cumberland County, House Bill 1419 garnered broad bipartisan support in its passage through both chambers of the General Assembly and into its signing by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
The legislation will have the records of qualifying nonviolent misdemeanor offenders sealed after the offender has lived crime-free for a determined number of years following release. “Clean Slate” will help many returning citizens who want a second chance at living productive lives to find education, housing, and gainful employment. All of these are too frequently out of reach for former offenders due to the life-long burden of a small crime committed years ago.
Not only does this bill open up opportunities for reformed citizens, but it will grow the economy by increasing the labor