Pardon Me Project
The Penn Law Pardon Me Project is dedicated to empowering formerly convicted persons to become change agents in their lives by providing legal aid and education on the Pardon process in Pennsylvania. Despite having already paid for their crimes in jail time, court costs, and bail fees, formerly convicted persons continue to face discrimination in pursuing employment, furthering their education, accessing public housing, and exercising their right to vote. The only way to remove a felony or non-summary misdemeanor conviction from a record in Philadelphia is by receiving a pardon from the Governor. The pardon process is long and requires an extensive application process including several essays describing the conviction, the circumstances surrounding it, and why the applicant is requesting a pardon. In partnership with X-Offenders for Community Empowerment, the Pardon Me project provides free direct legal services to individuals seeking to apply for a pardon.
Volunteer law students assist individual applicants on his/her pardon application, acting as a guide throughout the entire process. Students conduct intake sessions at local area pardon clinics run by X-Offenders for Community Empowerment, and work individually with select applicants on the rest of the pardon application. In addition to providing direct legal services, the Pardon Me project also educates the public and the legal community on the pardon process and advocates for criminal record policy reform.