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News 3.23.17

This Harrisburg odd couple is working together on criminal justice reform

Despite their political differences, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Wagner (R-28) and Pennsylvania Rep. Jordan Harris (D-186) are teaming up to push the Clean Slate Act—a bill that would automatically seal criminal records for people who stay out of trouble. They’ve brought together a diverse coalition of bipartisan lawmakers in support of the bill, which has also earned approval from more than 80 percent of Pennsylvania voters. With strong support on both sides of the aisle, Pennsylvania’s bill is poised to become the first clean slate law in the country.

Media 4.25.16

Top Economists at White House Explain How Mass Incarceration Hurts the Economy

Experts from the Economic Advisory Board of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, as well as the American Enterprise Institute, gathered at the White House to host a bipartisan discussion on criminal justice reform. The panel found that current criminal justice laws fuel mass incarceration, are a financial drain on society, and prevent formerly incarcerated people from successfully re-entering society after their debt has been paid. Nevertheless, experts across the political spectrum agree that there are cost effective, commonsense policy reforms that can be made.

News 4.16.16

Clean slate legislation would give people a second chance

Pennsylvania Rep. Jordan Harris (D-186) announces the introduction of the Clean Slate Act, supported by a broad coalition of advocates, district attorneys, and lawmakers across party lines. The first-in-the-nation legislation, which is co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-88), would automatically seal eligible criminal records for Pennsylvanians who remain crime-free for a set period of time. A similar version of the bill has been introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate, with support from Pennsylvania Sens. Scott Wagner (R-28) and Anthony Williams (D-8).

Research 6.22.15

All Pennsylvanians Will Benefit from a Clean Slate Policy for Minor Criminal Records

Clean slate is a win for Pennsylvanians with records and their families; for businesses and taxpayers; and for the safety of communities across the commonwealth. Automatic record-clearing helps everyday Pennsylvanians get back to work and build a better life for their families, keeping people in the workforce and out of jail. That means lower unemployment and recidivism rates, fewer taxpayer dollars spent on correctional costs, and better outcomes for all Pennsylvanians.

Research 12.2.14

One Strike and You’re Out: How We Can Eliminate Barriers to Economic Security and Mobility for People with Criminal Records

Following decades of overcriminalization, between 70 million and 100 million Americans now have some type of criminal record. Any —no matter how old or minor—can be a lifelong barrier to employment and economic mobility. This report provides a blueprint for policymakers and advocates to ensure that a criminal record is not a life sentence to poverty.