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Pardon Project of Centre County will help the formerly incarcerated wipe the slate clean

Deitric Murphy
Centre County announced the new "Pardon Project of Centre County" on Friday, which is a program to help formerly incarcerated people receive pardons for their past crimes.

Creators of the Pardon Project of Centre County announced the new organization on Friday at the State College Municipal Building.

Krista Henry is a pardon fellow for the Pardon Project of Centre County. She was once incarcerated and said it can cause you to lose your family, respect, job and opportunities.

"With my lived experience in the carceral system and the challenges that you face coming home, returning to the community, we call it 're-entry,' are some of the biggest challenges of the incarceration process and it's very overlooked." Henry said.

The goal of the PPCC is to train volunteers to help formerly incarcerated people fill out pardon applications, which, if approved, can wipe convictions off their records. They also try to convince those who are hesitant or unaware of it to attempt to fill out an application.

"What's the worst they can say? No?" Henry said. "But, if they say yes, that pardon will change that person's life forever and they can really put it behind them and no one else ever has to know."

After filling out the application, there's one more process applicants have to go through before getting their results. They must appear at a hearing with the Board of Pardons to discuss why they should be pardoned.

According to the PPCC, about 67% of applicants make it to the hearing and once they get there, more than 80% of people get pardoned.

People can only apply if they pled guilty or were convicted of a state crime and completed their sentence, including probation. No lawyer is required and if you go through the Pardon Project of Centre County, application fees are waived.