People Change.

Records Can Too.

Wayne County Pardon Project logo

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 Wayne 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 Wayne 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 Wayne 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 Wayne 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.
Wayne County Pardon Project logo

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

At the January 2024 hearings, the Board of Pardons decided 144 cases, recommending 118 of them (82%) to the Governor. At its February hearings, it heard 87 cases and recommended 68. Taken together, 80.5% of those whose cases have been heard so far in 2024 are now headed to the Governor’s desk. We still have to work on the Governor, though – as of February 23, the petitions -and fate- of 136 men and women, and their families, all recommended for pardons, have been sitting on his desk for more than 90 days, including 76 who were unanimously recommended.

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. Wayne County deserves its fair share!

Who We Are

The initiative was proposed by long-time member Joseph Rydzewski, and quickly endorsed by Bar Association President Christine Rechner, District Attorney AG Howell – himself a long-time member of the Bar and personally committed to pro bono (volunteer legal services for the poor) – and Wayne County’s Prothonotary Edward Sandercock. The Pennsylvania IOLTA Board was first to provide critically-needed matching funds for this Project, the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation awarded a one-time matching grant to help get it up and running, and in June 2023, the Schwartz-Mack Foundation provided a grant to support this and the Bar Association’s other pro bono efforts. Ours is now part of a large and growing statewide network of Pardon Projects.

What We Do

We train volunteers (“Pardon Coaches”) so that they know the process, and we connect them to clients whom we think have an excellent chance of receiving a pardon from the Governor.

Who We Serve

We provide Pardon Coaches for free to people who reside in Wayne County (or were convicted here) whose household incomes are at or below 187.5% of the federal poverty guidelines (these limits times two) and who have completed their sentences for non-violent crimes at least five years ago. 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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Pennsylvania Association of Pardon Projects
230 S. Broad Street Suite 1102
Philadelphia, PA 19102

[email protected]

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