McClinton, Williams help Delco neighbors get criminal records sealed during expungement clinic
As part of her ongoing fight to enact criminal justice reforms and provide individuals with a second chance, House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton today applauded the team effort that helped more than a dozen of her neighbors get their criminal records sealed in Delaware County.
McClinton partnered with state Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Phila./Delaware, and the Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania yesterday for their sixth annual Delaware County Virtual Expungement Clinic to provide legal resources, information and advice to the community. McClinton said of the more than 40 participants, 20 had their criminal records sealed.
"I've always been a strong believer that one mistake should not dictate a person's future, and I'm extremely grateful to have community partners who feel the same way," said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. "We've enacted legislation to help individuals move on from the past by providing them with opportunities; however, it's not only about enacting change but making sure people know about it and how it impacts them, which was one of the main purposes of our expungement clinic."
"Many people with criminal records don't know the expungement, Clean Slate or pardon laws or where to turn, leaving them feeling trapped," said Erica Briant, supervising attorney of the Community Engagement Unit at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania. "Besides being complex, the laws have seen significant changes in recent years. I'm proud to partner with Rep. McClinton and Sen. Williams for events like this because it helps the community learn about their options and reminds people that assistance is available."
McClinton added record-clearing helps people find better paying jobs, and gain access to education and housing.
In October, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law bipartisan legislation that McClinton worked on with Republican state Rep. Sheryl Delozier to expand upon Pennsylvania’s historic Clean Slate law.