Senate Passes Greenleaf’s Legislation to Expunge Minor Criminal Records

On Monday 2/23, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf’s Senate Bill 166 which would allow individuals who have served a sentence for nonviolent third and second degree misdemeanors to petition the court for expungement of their criminal records after at least seven years without a new offense.

“A low-level misdemeanor in one’s past is often a barrier when seeking employment, long after they have completed their sentence,” said Senator Greenleaf. “A number of states are expanding their expungement laws to reduce the period during which a minor criminal record can punish people.”

This legislation is expected to help counter high rates of recidivism, relieve an overburdened pardon system, and provide more opportunities for ex-offenders to join the workforce.

SB 166 will now be referred to a committee in the House of Representatives.

Contact:

Aaron Zappia 215-657-7700

azappia@pasen.gov