Why This Is Important: People who have criminal records cannot get jobs, credit, housing, training, and many other opportunities even if they completed their sentences years and decades ago. Thanks to the energy and leadership of Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Secretary Brandon Flood and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania is leading the nation in reforming the pardon process. In less than two years, the Board of Pardons (BOP) has made the process free and accessible to people, without having to use a lawyer, and cut the processing time in half; and today, 8 out of 10 people who get hearings actually receive the SECOND CHANCE that only a pardon can give.
Governor Wolf is failing to act which is standing in their way. While he eventually approves 99% of all the pardon recommendations he receives, he’s taking up to a year to sign them! There is a logjam of pardon applications – over 250 people are waiting for him to act, some for as much as six months. https://www.bop.pa.gov/Statistics/Pages/Statistics-by-Year.aspx The backlog is growing, as the BOP continues to hold hearings and recommend more people. https://www.bop.pa.gov/Board-Information/Pages/Board-Meeting-Dates.aspx. Letters are being written calling on him to act, and he’s not responded; emails are being sent, and no one is replying. https://www.plsephilly.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/PPSC-letter-to-Gov.-Wolf.pdf
These are people who are struggling to do their best but held back by their past. With just a stroke of his pen, Governor Wolf can give them and their families a whole new future. And this will help whole communities climb out of poverty. http://economyleague.org/pardonimpact
Who We Are: We are the Pardon Project Steering Committee, a part of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) https://www.plsephilly.org/. We are people with lived experience and “grounded in forward movement” to help reform the criminal justice system; many of us have applied for pardons and hope to receive them; all of us are intent on helping those who have turned their lives around to achieve their potential. We need you to add your voices to our call for social justice. Help us get the Governor focused on the small, simple, but enormously powerful act of signing pardons.
Dear Governor Wolf:
I join with the Pardon Project Steering Committee in calling on you to:
1) sign the hundreds of pardons that have been sitting on your desk for so many months, and give them and their families, finally, the Second Chance that they have earned and
2) include signing Pardons in the forefront of your duties so that never again will anyone have to wait more than 30 days for you, or any Governor, to act.
Pardon Project Steering Committee of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity