Statewide Pardon Project

Second Chances

Across the United States, 1 of 3 adults has a criminal record, and 1 of every 2 children has a parent with a criminal record. 

People change. Records can too! It’s time we stopped letting history hold us back!

Across the country, people are now agreeing: If you paid your debt to society, you should be allowed to work.

The way is simple – a pardon from the Governor – and you don’t need money, connections or even a lawyer to get a pardon in Pennsylvania! 

Since 2019, Pennsylvania has been leading the country in pardon reform. Our Governor has issued almost 2,000 pardons — not to the rich and well-connected, but to people like you and me; and the Board of Pardons (which has to review and recommend people before the Governor can act) has been approving almost 9 out of every 10 pardon applications they hear.

As a result of the reforms, community leaders are coming together in counties all across Pennsylvania to form Pardon Projects, like they just did in Reading (Berks County). Neighbors are learning – in just one hour –  about the pardon process and how to complete the free pardon application in the best possible way to show how they’ve changed and deserve a second chance.     

Click on the logo below to get information, and maybe a volunteer Pardon Coach, from a Pardon Project that is already up and running. If there’s not one yet in your county and you want to help start one, be sure to check out our RESOURCES page. And if you just want help doing your application, watch the self-help videos in our Video Library.  

Together we can bring real hope and better futures to tens of thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians and their families who have earned a second chance!