Rep. Ravenstahl’s message to Northsiders for the month of March 2020.

For millions of Pennsylvanians, a simple checkbox on an employment application or a housing rental form is a major barrier; one that keeps them trapped in a cycle of poverty, despair and, too often, crime.

That box askes a simple question: “Have you been convicted of a crime?” It doesn’t matter if the offense was one—or three decades ago, or if it was a youthful indiscretion or a bad decision the price of which was long-ago paid.
When we talk about restorative justice, we’re talking about moving people from the cycle of the criminal justice system and preparing them to re-enter society as productive people—and offering those who deserve it a second chance.

By doing so, everyone benefits—not just those who get a second chance, but also their families, their neighbors and the taxpayers who otherwise would have to pay for their incarceration and the social costs that go along with it.

That is why I am co-hosting a Pathways 2 Pardons event with state Rep. Jake Wheatley on March 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Northside Partnership Community Resource Mall on Maple Avenue. Last year the Pennsylvania “Clean Slate” Program—the first of its kind in the nation, kicked off after the legislature approved it. To date, the program has sealed almost 26 million criminal records after charges were dropped or minor conviction records sealed after 10 years. But there are still millions of Pennsylvanians who are being locked out of society due to minor or old criminal offenses not covered under the Clean Slate law—and those are the folks we are looking to help with our Pathways 2 Pardons event.

For people who have paid their debt to society, it is time to give them a second chance—and a pathway to success.

Please contact me with any ofyour state related issues or concerns at 412-321-5523.

State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh’s 20th District

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