HARRISBURG – State Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), one of the architects of Pennsylvania’s historic Clean Slate Act, participated Tuesday in a nationwide discussion of criminal justice reform along with representatives from both the legal and legislative communities.
“The bipartisan energy and initiative exhibited in the crafting of this legislation is proof that parties on both sides of a debate can work together on an extremely complex issue,” said Delozier. “As successful as it has been in one year, the Clean Slate Act can be a solid foundation for similar efforts going forward, efforts that we must continue to pursue in addressing the stigma that unfortunately remains attached to those who have paid their debt but continue - in the eyes of many - to owe something to society.”
Under the Clean Slate Act, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts was charged with automatically sealing nonviolent second- and third-degree misdemeanor convictions, provided those involved had no other convictions for a period of 10 years after the time of conviction.
“I consider it our responsibility as legislators to work across party lines for good public policy and am proud to see Pennsylvania lead the way by being the first in the nation to have a Clean Slate law. Our bill is working for our residents.”
In the last year, 35 million cases have been sealed by automation, bringing much-needed relief to 1 million Pennsylvanians facing the long-lasting stigma of a criminal record. Those statistics beg the question of where Pennsylvania goes from here.
“One step would be advancing to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk House Bill 440
, my legislation that would allow clean slate to work for people by allowing them to get a job and in turn enable them to pay their required court fines and fee that are owed. It also allows those that were unconditionally pardoned or fully acquitted of all charges to have the opportunity to expunge their record.
“Putting political party aside, we can agree that we don’t want government to be in the way of making common sense changes in our criminal justice system. Having the goal of getting people back to work and giving those that have earned a second chance the opportunity to succeed is just good public policy.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Delozier’s district office at 717-761-4665.
Representative Sheryl Delozier
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5967 (cell)