This page is for counties that do not currently have a Pardon Project but are thinking about starting one. It begins with a few videos – first, offering several examples of successful Pardon Projects, discussing how they have organized themselves and are getting the work done; then, the next few, offering deeper dives into particular aspects of their work. It then offers examples below of how you can go from idea to operation, in five parts:

The examples come from the counties that have gone through that process – Erie, Beaver, Allegheny, Washington, Berks, Lancaster, Lackawanna and Philadelphia.  Every county is unique – in its interests, and in its resources – so there is no cookie-cutter that can be used. But every project needs to address the same questions:  who are we going to serve, how are we going to reach them, who will be willing to help them, and how can we make it as easy as possible for our volunteers, Pardon Hubs (organizations) and Pardon Coaches (individuals).  These materials should help define, and address, those questions.

Most Pardon Projects have started off small, with a dozen or so Pardon Coaches trained and an equal number of clients needing help. They then expand from there, as the word starts getting around and the supply of both clients and coaches increases.  Each Pardon Project continues to develop, learning from their own experiences and those of the others, as their leadership meet monthly as the Pennsylvania Association of Pardon Projects.  For attorneys who volunteer through member Pardon Projects, the Association offers free, primary professional liability insurance.

If you have questions or need another example, send us an email and we will get back to you:  Thank you for your willingness to help others obtain the second chance that only a pardon can provide. 

Tobey Oxholm, Director, PLSE Pardon Project

May 26, 2022

Informational Flyers


Video Library


Getting Started

Developing The Project

  • Agenda for second meeting – Beaver County 
  • The role of the District Attorney in Pardon Projects – PLSE
  • Using Undergrad and Graduate Students  – short video of students discussing their experiences
  • Eligibility Criteria – PLSE Volunteer Program, Erie County and Berks County
  • Intake Questionnaire – York County
  • Pardon Project Assistance Accept and Reject letters – Beaver County
  • Court Prothonotary Policy on providing underlying criminal records for use in pardon applications – Wayne County
  • Involving the Court – “Pardons for Prothys” hosted by The Pennsylvania State Association of The Prothonotaries and Clerks of Court – November 2021 (60-minute zoom) 
  • “The Court Clerks’ Critical Role in the Pennsylvania Pardon Process: A Continuing Education Program For Court Staff Responsible for Court Records” –May 2023 (program outline and materials)
  • Pardon Project Flow Chart – York County

Outreach to Potential Clients and Client-Serving Community 

Training Pardon Coaches

Making The Project Sustainable

  • Policies and Procedures for Clerk of Courts responding to record requests – Beaver County
  • Requests for Underlying Criminal Court Records (Attorney and Non-Attorney) – Erie County 
  • Client Authorization to Obtain Copies of Underlying Criminal Records – PLSE 
  • Position description, Pardon Fellow – Lancaster County
  • Six-month report from a Pardon Fellow – Washington County  (funded by the American Bar Endowment)
  • Application for funding Pardon Project Coordinator – Beaver County 
  • Presentation to county Criminal Justice Advisory Board – Centre County (powerpoint)