Pennsylvania’s Approach to Sealing Criminal Convictions Could Go National

Criminal justice reform that started in Pennsylvania to clear previous convictions may become the standard in federal law.

Two criminal justice reform bills, the Clean Slate Act and the Fresh Start Act, would “enable people with federal arrest and conviction records to petition to clear those records and support increased access to automatic record sealing for eligible offenses at the federal and state levels,” as described in a news release from the Clean Slate Initiative, a pro-reform group.

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Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Expansion Could Include Sealing Low-Level Felony Records

Advocates say a bipartisan effort to seal criminal records for low-level felonies would give more people second chances and boost the Pennsylvania economy.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss House Bill 1826, which would expand the Clean Slate Act by automatically sealing some low-level felonies.

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