Today, First Lady Frances Wolf hosted Women In Reentry: Clemency, Expungement, and Clean Slate, the fifth in a series of virtual conversations with reentry advocates. The panel discussed each process and the impact they can have on women reentrants.
Celeste Trusty, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons (BOP)
Naomi Blount Wilson, Commutations Specialist at the Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Taylor Pacheco, Deputy Executive Director at Philadelphia Lawyers of Social Equity (PLSE)
Katie Svoboda-Kindle, Senior Staff Attorney at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS)
“Pennsylvanians who have paid their debt to society and are positively contributing to their communities deserve a chance to reestablish their lives without the burden of their criminal record following them,” said First Lady Wolf. “It is imperative that we empower women to seek clemency, expungement and record sealing through Clean Slate if they are eligible as these are the kinds of mechanisms that can truly give them a fresh start.”
Clemency typically falls into two categories: pardons and commutations. A pardon constitutes total forgiveness by the state for a crime of which you were convicted, regardless of whether your sentence included time in prison. Applying for a pardon is free for individuals seeking forgiveness and the application can be downloaded online. The process does not require a lawyer. Since 2015, Pennsylvania has been leading the country in pardon reform, with Governor Wolf issuing almost 2,000 pardons.
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