Our History

Need help? CleanSlate@womensservicesinc.org or
814-724-4637 (Women's Services Help-Line)

Local History

This mission began in Crawford County as a wide-ranging effort to increase understanding among different segments of our community and address sources of trauma affecting our most vulnerable populations. Under the umbrella of the Crawford County System of Care, religious leaders, attorneys, community activists, police officials, and others pursued a variety of initiatives, leading eventually to establishment of Crawford Clean Slate. 

Community partners include Northwestern Legal Services, Women's Services, Crawford County Drug & Alcohol Executive Commission, and -- at the state level -- The Pardon Project led by Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity.

State History 

In 2018, Pennsylvania became the first state to enact bipartisan Clean Slate legislation. This act established procedures for qualifying individuals to have their criminal records sealed or expunged. Now over 1.2 million Pennsylvanians have benefitted from Clean Slate, with over 40 million cases sealed. A 2020 law removed the barrier of court fines and costs to sealing or expunging records for people unable to pay those expenses. And in 2023, "Clean Slate 3.0" passed the PA Legislature with bipartisan support to expand the range of eligible Clean Slate offenses and reduce some waiting periods.

In recent years, the Pennsylvania process for receiving a Governor's pardon has also evolved into a powerful source of second chances for people getting their lives together after past criminal offenses. The state's Board of Pardons, headed by the sitting Lieutenant Governor, streamlined its application process to be more user friendly and began reviewing cases at an accelerated pace. From 2015 through 2023, almost 2500 deserving Pennsylvanians have been granted clemency in the form of a Governor's pardon.