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The Pardon Project OF bERKS cOUNTY

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PEOPLE CHANGE. RECORDS CAN TOO.

If you are being held back by a conviction in Pennsylvania for a crime at least five years ago, you could qualify for a pardon! Since 2019, Pennsylvania has been leading the nation in pardon reform.

 

The process is free, the form is short, you don’t need a lawyer, and hundreds of people are being pardoned every year. 

 

Thanks to the reforms, there is a large and growing community of people with convictions in their past who are coming together from around the state to push more change so that there can be more pardons. To read about the pardon project steering committee, click here.

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

Mistakes made long ago shouldn’t follow you for the rest of your life.

PA State Senator Judy Schwank

This is a FREE service

The Pardon Project of Berks County seeks to assist individuals with a criminal record, who have served their sentence (including probation and parole) and are seeking a pardon of their records. The Pardon Project of Berks County connects these individuals with community volunteer Pardon Coaches to aid them in their journey.

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 Berks County was created to help individuals with a criminal record in our community move forward in their lives.

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How We Help

Who We Are

The Pardon Project of Berks County was established in October 2021, through the guidance of the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) and State Senator Judy Schwank, in cooperation with the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, the Berks County Bar Association, and Connections Work.

 

What We Do

 

The Pardon Project of Berks County helps eligible individuals with the pardon application process.

We train volunteers (Pardon Coaches) to better understand the pardon application process.  Pardon Coaches recognize the Board of Pardons' consideration factors and can help individuals submit their best possible pardon application.

Where Are We

Connections Work
19 N. 6th St, 4th Floor
Reading, PA 19601

484.260.3860

PardonProject@ConnectionsWork.org

Do You Know?
 

Pennsylvania is leading the nation in pardon reform. The application for a pardon is 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. Berks deserves its fair share!

If you have ever pled guilty or been convicted of a state crime in Pennsylvania and have fully completed your sentence, you really should consider applying for a pardon. A Pardon is total forgiveness by the state and allows the court, state police, and FBI to erase your record. You will never have to “check the box” again!

Who We Serve

 

Click here to read the criteria we use in deciding who is eligible for free service from our Pardon Coaches. In general, we help residents of Berks County or those with convictions in Berks County, who have turned their lives around from the time they were involved in the criminal justice system.

What Is A Pardon?

A pardon means you have been forgiven by the government for the crime you committed and leads to having your convictions erased from your record. After a pardon, you don’t have to “check the box” when filling out an application, nor do you have to tell anyone that you were ever convicted. There are many ways that a pardon can help expand your opportunities and create a better life for yourself and your family.

Am I Eligible?

What Is A Pardon Coach?

It’s now much easier to request a pardon—and, since 2019, more than 8 out of 10 applicants who apply get a hearing. The key to success is the application. Almost everyone could use help telling their story of how they have changed since their initial involvement with the law. If you’re willing to be a volunteer Pardon Coach, the training is free and takes only an hour. 

 

If you are interested in volunteering as a Pardon Coach, please email: PardonProject@ConnectionsWork.org.

 

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Pardon Project Toolkit

yOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF!

  • Click here for an 8-minute film about the PA Pardon Process by Pardon Fellow Zach Keasling

  • Click here for information about pardons

  • Click here for the application form and instructions (English)

  • Click here for the application form and instructions (Spanish)

  • Click here for a list of things to get from the courthouse (English)

  • Click here for a list of things to get from the courthouse (Spanish)

  • Click here to watch a “Do It Yourself” video (1 hour)

  • Click here to to watch some self-help videos about the application (each 5 minutes long)

  • Click here to hear from people who have been through the process

  • Click here to read about the new Fast Tracks to see if you quality

aPPLICATION pOINTERS

fOR cOACHES

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Find a Pardon Project

It’s so easy to apply that Pardon Projects (groups of volunteers) are springing up in counties all around the state helping people fill out the form.

 

Pardon Projects are countywide efforts that link together community organizations (called “Pardon Hubs”) that have been trained in the pardon form and process. They also have a list of volunteers (called “Pardon Coaches”) ready to help people fill out the application.

 

Click on the county name below to be directed to their website.

Adams County (in development)

Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)

Allegheny County (Wilkinsburg)

Beaver County

Bedford County (in development)

Berks County

Bucks County

Butler County (in development)

Cambria County

Centre County

Chester County

Clearfield County (in development)

Crawford County

Cumberland County

Dauphin County (in development)

Delaware County

Erie County

Huntingdon County

Lackawanna County

Lancaster County

Lawrence County (in development)

Lebanon County (in development)

Lehigh County

Luzerne County

Monroe County (in development)

Montgomery County

Northampton County

Philadelphia County

West Philadelphia

Schuylkill County (in development)

Somerset County

Venango County (in development)

Washington County

Wayne County

Westmoreland County

York County

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Questions?

For more information, email: PardonProject@ConnectionsWork.org

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