Jun. 28, 2017 6:18 pm

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

It's a big win for criminal justice reform advocates and those with low-level criminal convictions.

The American and Pennsylvanian flags.

(Photo by Julie Zeglen)

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.

“Clean Slate, if it also passes the House, will take sealing of records to a new, much higher level,” Dietrich wrote in an email. “Many thousands of people who were eligible to have their records sealed or expunged would actually have it done, without lawyers, courts, or even knowledge about their opportunity to clear their records.”

The vote signals a step forward for those with low-level criminal convictions who have had difficulties finding meaningful employment because of their records. The legislation would also seal the records of those who have been arrested but faced no convictions.

A similar bill was introduced last spring but ultimately not brought to a vote, said CLS Communications Director Caitlin Brown.

Next, the bill must move through the House. If approved, Gov. Wolf must approve it — and he has said he will.

“So, the journey is only half over,” Dietrich said. Still, she’s hopeful, especially given the legislation’s bipartisan support thus far: The bill was co-sponsored by York’s Sen. Scott Wagner, a Republican, and Philly’s Sen. Anthony Williams, a Democrat.

“Hopefully, the broad agreement about Clean Slate in the Senate is a first step to other bipartisan criminal justice reform in PA,” Dietrich said.

From our Partners


From our Partners

Dennis and Lee Horton say their own grief and trauma helped them to help others

Homelessness in reentry is a serious concern. Here’s what Philly is doing about it

PAR-Recycle Works continues to collect e-waste and transform lives at its new Hunting Park facility


Generocity Philly

Meet Kim Andrews, new executive director for The Fund for Women and Girls



Director of Communications

Apply Now
8033 Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19118

harp-weaver LLC

Administrative & Grants Associate

Apply Now
Hamilton, NJ

Grounds For Sculpture

Manager of Wellness Programs

Apply Now

Philly’s hidden figures: They’ve been doing crucial and stellar work for years

Ronald Crawford believes Meek Mill, Jay Z and Nas have something healing to say to Philly’s returning citizens

It takes a city: Dispatch from a two-month-old social enterprise


Generocity Philly

Be the leader to bring a 26-year mission into the future in Chester County

Central Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Prison Society

Prison Monitoring Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Play On Philly

Director of Education

Apply Now


Bilingual Program Coordinator

Apply Now

Subscribe to Generocity

* indicates required