People Change.

Records Can Too.

logo of pardon project cumberland county

A pardon is total forgiveness by the state and it requires the court, prosecutors, and state police to erase your record like it never happened.

You will never have to “check the box” again!

The Pardon Project of Cumberland County

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 Cumberland County was created to help members of our community who were once convicted of a non-violent crime, completed their sentence, and turned their lives around – and only their past is holding them back from pursuing their potential.

If you’re someone who has a criminal record and is considering seeking a pardon, there are several benefits to doing so. Firstly, a pardon can help remove the stigma and barriers that come with having a criminal record, making it easier to find employment, housing, and education opportunities. Additionally, a pardon can provide a sense of closure and allow you to move on from your past mistakes, freeing you to pursue personal and professional growth. The potential benefits of a pardon are significant and can create a range of opportunities that may not have been available otherwise. We want to help you realize this opportunity!

If you have ever pled guilty or been convicted of a non-violent state crime in Pennsylvania and completed your sentence at least five years ago, you should consider applying for a pardon.

Records Can Too.

The Pardon Project of Cumberland County

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 Cumberland County was created to help members of our community who were once convicted of a non-violent crime, completed their sentence, and turned their lives around – and only their past is holding them back from pursuing their potential.

If you’re someone who has a criminal record and is considering seeking a pardon, there are several benefits to doing so. Firstly, a pardon can help remove the stigma and barriers that come with having a criminal record, making it easier to find employment, housing, and education opportunities. Additionally, a pardon can provide a sense of closure and allow you to move on from your past mistakes, freeing you to pursue personal and professional growth. The potential benefits of a pardon are significant and can create a range of opportunities that may not have been available otherwise. We want to help you realize this opportunity!

If you have ever pled guilty or been convicted of a non-violent state crime in Pennsylvania and completed your sentence at least five years ago, you should consider applying for a pardon.
logo pardon project cumberland county

A pardon is total forgiveness by the state and it requires the court, prosecutors, and state police to erase your record like it never happened.

You will never have to “check the box” again!

News Alert

The next set of Pardon Public Hearings (until October 8-10) will be JUNE 12-14, with sessions at 9 AM and 1 PM (30 cases per session). Each ends with a public vote (3 YES votes required to get to the Governor). The next Merit Review (2 YES votes required to get a Public Hearing) will be on JULY 1 at 9 AM. These are public. To watch, click here.

Two –

Thirds

of those who apply for a pardon in Pennsylvania actually get one!

Did You Know?

Pennsylvania is leading the nation in pardon reform! The pardon process is entirely 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! Over a ten-year period, pardons brought over $16.5 million dollars in higher wages into communities all across the state. Cumberland County deserves its fair share!

Who We Are

The Pardon Project of Cumberland County began with community leaders coming together in late 2023 to discuss the problems being caused in the community because so many of its members cannot get ahead because of criminal convictions in their past. It went “live” on February 15, 2024, with a screening of Pardon Me and the first Pardon Coach Training at Penn State Dickinson Law. It builds off the Pardon Project that Dickinson Law had started under the leadership of Professor Gary Gildin in early 2022, through which almost 30 law students have helped low-income clients from Philadelphia apply for pardons. Now, with the support of Penn State Dickinson Law alumni and the Cumberland County Bar Association, the project will be opening its doors to low-income members of the Cumberland County community. The Project’s Steering Committee members include representatives from Central Pennsylvania Family Support Services (The Som Foundation), the Cumberland County Public Defender, the Cumberland County Bar Association, Cumberland County Adult Probation and Parole, the Cumberland County Re-entry Coalition, the Clerk of Courts, the District Attorney’s Office, and Penn State Dickinson Law. This group of individuals comes from all backgrounds, ranging from elected officials and civic leaders to Pardon Fellows (people with felony convictions in their past) who all want to help those who have turned their lives around, have done their best, and deserve a second chance.

For a list of our members, click here.

We are part of a large and growing statewide network of Pardon Projects.

What We Do

“Pardon Hubs” are locations where the staff can answer many if not all of your questions and help you through the process. Our primary Pardon Hub is being hosted by Central Pennsylvania Family Support Services’ The Som Foundation which is located at 320 S. Hanover Street in Carlisle. We are looking to expand in the future, making our services accessible to everyone across Cumberland County!

Remember that ANYONE can help themselves because a pardon in PA can be applied for by ANY individual for ANY conviction. If you feel that you have a compelling story to tell, don’t let anyone get in your way! 

Who We Serve

We provide Pardon Coaches for free to people who reside in Cumberland County (or were convicted here), but give priority to those who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines ($27,180/year for an individual, $55,500/year for a family of 4) and who have completed their sentences for non-violent crimes at least eight years ago (may be shorter if you only have one conviction and it is for possessing a small amount of marijuana or minor retail thefts). The only cost that those over that income guideline are responsible for is the fee of getting their records, as the county clerk will only grant them for free if you are within that 200%.

Others may qualify on a case-by-case basis. And EVERYONE can help themselves! For our full Eligibility Criteria, click here.

How Do I Find Out if I Qualify?

Complete the form below with your information and someone from our team will be reply:

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About the Pardon Project

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) has been helping low-income Philadelphians clean up their criminal records since 2011. In 2018, it started the Pardon Project to make the pardon process in Pennsylvania accessible to those without money to hire lawyers. In 2020, PLSE began helping communities outside Philadelphia form their own Pardon Projects. The Pennsylvania Association of Pardon Projects was formed the following year. Click here to read the article Pardon Projects: Communities Coming Together in Restorative Justice (PA Bar Association, Jan. 2022).
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