The Pardon Project of York County seeks to assist individuals with a criminal record, who have completely served their sentence (including probation and parole) and are seeking a pardon forgiveness of their crime. A pardon will allow the record to be expunged (erased). The Pardon Project of York County connects these individuals with community volunteer Pardon Coaches to aid them in their application.
A pardon is a powerful tool for people who deserve a second chance. In Pennsylvania, the pardon process is free and more accessible than ever before. The Pardon Project of York County was created to help individuals with a criminal record in our community move forward with their lives.
WHO WE ARE
The Pardon Project of York County was established in 2022, through the guidance of the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE), when multiple government, nonprofit, and community members agreed to work together to provide greater access and information to York County residents about pardons.
WHAT WE DO
The Pardon Project of York County helps eligible individuals with the pardon application process. We train volunteers (called Pardon Coaches) to better understand the pardon application process. Pardon Coaches recognize the Board of Pardons’ consideration factors and can help individuals submit their best possible pardon application.
WHEN WE STARTED
We began meeting and planning in February 2022 and will begin connecting individuals with Pardon Coaches in September 2022.
WHERE WE’RE LOCATED
Eventually, we hope to have Pardon Hubs (places where you can go for information and help) all around the county.
Our home site is:
The Program, It’s About Change
220 East King Street, Suite 1
York, PA 17403
717 238 9950
WHO WE SERVE
Click here to read the criteria we use in deciding who is eligible for free service from our Pardon Coaches. In general, we help residents of York County who have turned their lives around from the time they were involved in the criminal justice system.
YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
What is a pardon?
A pardon means you have been forgiven by the government for the crime you committed and leads to having your convictions erased from your record. After a pardon, you don’t have to “check the box” when filling out an application, nor do you have to tell anyone that you were ever convicted. There are many ways that a pardon can help expand your opportunities and create a better life for yourself and your family.
What does a pardon do?
A pardon relieves any legal disability resulting from a conviction. These disabilities include, but are not limited to: (1) Eligibility for licenses, jobs, careers, loans, educational programs, volunteer opportunities, and more; (2) The right to vote (only incarcerated felons suffer this disability in Pennsylvania, this varies by state); (2) The right to be a juror; (3) The right to hold a public office; (4) The opportunity to serve in the military; (5) The right to obtain / carry a firearm; and (6) The right to travel internationally.
Why should a pardon be important to me?
Pennsylvania is leading the nation in pardon reform. The application for a pardon is free, a lawyer is not necessary, and over 80% of the people going before the PA Board of Pardons actually end up with a pardon. If you have ever pled guilty or been convicted of a state crime in Pennsylvania and have fully completed your sentence, you really should consider applying for a pardon. A Pardon is total forgiveness by the state and allows the court, state police, and FBI to erase your record. You will never have to “check the box” again!
What is a Pardon Coach?
It’s now much easier to request a pardon, and, since 2019, more than 8 out of 10 applicants who apply get a hearing. The key to success is the application. Almost everyone could use help telling their story of how they have changed since their initial involvement with the law. If you’re willing to be a volunteer Pardon Coach, the training is free and takes only an hour. Once you are trained and have taken your first client, you’ll get an extensive tool-kit to make your job easy. If you are interested in volunteering as a Pardon Coach, please let us know by emailing PardonMeYork@theprogramitsaboutchange.org.
Do you have more questions?
For more information, please let us know by emailing PardonMeYork@theprogramitsaboutchange.org.