Pa. senate passes bill to seal some criminal records

Pa. Senate passes first-of-its-kind bill sealing some criminal records

In the fractured state of the commonwealth that is Pennsylvania, a first-of-its-kind bill that would seal criminal records for minor offenses passed unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday. “Unanimous,” crowed Community Legal Services employment attorney Sharon Dietrich, punctuating her email with three exclamation points. Dietrich has long advocated for this type of legislation.

Pa.’s Clean Slate bill was just unanimously passed by the state Senate – Generocity Philly

The state Senate voted unanimously yesterday in favor of a bill that would seal misdemeanor records after 10 years. The legislation would only apply to those who avoided other convictions for at least 10 years. It’s a big win for criminal justice reform advocates like Sharon Dietrich, litigation director of Community Legal Services.

Reentry Awareness Month in Philadelphia starts now and you are invited

Helping those who are reentering society from prison

The United States has more people with criminal backgrounds than the entire population of France. In Philadelphia, it’s estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 residents – approximately one in every six of us – has been intimately familiar with a jail cell. One in six.

Open hiring means getting a job despite having criminal record


No skills tests, no background checks, just a life-saving job at a bakery

When former drug dealer Dion Drew got out of prison, no one would hire him. Then he learned about a bakery that didn’t do background checks, didn’t test skills, didn’t require references. As much as Greyston’s “open hiring” practice helped Drew, it’s also making a difference to the bottom line, says CEO Mike Brady.


This piece was produced by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com and WHYY/NewsWorks for The Reentry Project, a citywide collaborative news initiative. It is part of an occasional series — across the city and across platforms — on the challenges facing people returning from prison and what can be done about them.

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