People Change.

Records Can Too.

Gannon University

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!

Gannon University Hub of the Pardon Project of Erie County (PPEC)

Gannon University serves as a main location (“Hub”) of the Pardon Project of Erie County: a volunteer program by which people trained in the pardon process and forms (“Pardon Coaches”) help individuals apply for pardons from the Governor.

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 Erie 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 conviction in your past and is being held back from what you can achieve, you should consider 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, 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.

Gannon University Hub of the Pardon Project of Erie County (PPEC)

Gannon University serves as a main location (“Hub”) of the Pardon Project of Erie County: a volunteer program by which people trained in the pardon process and forms (“Pardon Coaches”) help individuals apply for pardons from the Governor.

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 Erie 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 conviction in your past and is being held back from what you can achieve, you should consider 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, 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.
Gannon University

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. Erie County deserves its fair share!

Who We Are

Antonio HowardThe statewide Pardon Project (of which we are a part) was founded in 2018. The organization was inspired by the belief that the clemency process in the United States is broken and in need of reform. The founders recognized that many people who are eligible for clemency are unable to navigate the complex and opaque application process, and that those who do apply are often denied without explanation.

The Pardon Project of Erie County was started in 2021, with the enthusiastic support of the Court, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Erie County Bar Association. Gannon University opened our Hub in 2023, and we now help our clients on campus and over the phone. Antonio Howard serves as Pardon & Commutation Hub Coordinator. Peter Agresti, Esquire, serves as the Gannon Hub Supervisor.

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

What We Do

The Pardon Project provides legal assistance to individuals seeking clemency. The organization’s team of community volunteers, attorneys, pre-law students, and advocates work with clients to prepare compelling applications that highlight the unique circumstances of each case. The Pardon Project also provides guidance on how to obtain necessary supporting documentation, such as letters of support and character references.

“Pardon Hubs” are locations where the staff can answer many if not all your questions and help you through the process. Gannon University is a hub available to the residents of Erie County, or to those who were convicted in Erie County.

At Gannon, we are dedicated to excellence not only through teaching and scholarship, but through service. Gannon University’s role as a Pardon Hub is another way the university is working towards its vision to address the health needs of a global society. In our partnership with the Pardon Project, Gannon keeps the school’s core beliefs of knowledge, innovation, and especially social responsibility, alive and thriving.

The Hub includes:
-A physical site on campus to serve as an office equipped with a computer
-Accessible to volunteers and clients who have an appointment
-Sufficient room to meet with clients and have Pardon Coaches review the process
-CONFIDENTIALITY FOR EVERYONE

Who We Serve

We provide Pardon Coaches for free to people who reside in Erie County (or were convicted here). We 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 five years ago. The only cost that those over that income guideline are responsible for is getting their records From the Court.

The Pardon Process is simple and straightforward. We help you complete the application and mail it in. Next comes an investigation by the Department of Corrections, which will include interviews usually by phone. Then comes a haring before the Board of Pardons, which is done by zoom. And then, it’s all up to the Governor to decide. You can use the links near the bottom of this page to learn more.

The process takes too long – often 3-4 years – but it’s getting shorter. And while the time is passing, you can be doing things to make yourself into an even better pardon applicant! This might all seem overwhelming, but here’s the good news: The Board of Pardons is recommending over 80% of all pardon applications it hears, and the Governor is approving 98% of all pardon recommendations he receives … and then your criminal record is automatically erased by the Court and you never have to check the box again!

So what’s holding you back?

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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Pennsylvania Association of Pardon Projects
230 S. Broad Street Suite 1102
Philadelphia, PA 19102

[email protected]

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