The Pardon Project of Erie 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 Erie County was created to help non-violent, ex-offenders (and their families) in our community move forward in their lives.

Did 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. Erie 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 are: We are public defenders and prosecutors, lawyers and community advocates, non-profits and universities, government agencies and communities of faith.  Click here to see the list of the people and organizations who have been involved in creating the Pardon Project of Erie County

What we do: We train volunteers ("Pardon Coaches") so that they know the process, appreciate what the Board of Pardons is looking for, and they can help you write the best pardon applications you can.

When did we start: We started meeting in March, held our first "Pardon Coach" training on August 11 (and connected our first clients and Coaches that day!), and held our first community outreach by zoom on August 30.

Where we are: we have two "Pardon Hubs" right now (August 2021), with more on the way:

Gannon University: 

Mercyhurst University: 

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 low-income residents of Erie County who have turned their lives around from the time they were involved in the criminal justice system (at least three years after having completed their most recent sentence, with no open prosecutions – eight years for crimes involving sex or violence).

Resources:  

 

For more information, write us!  PardonMeErie@gmail.com

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