Pardon Project





-Anyone with a criminal conviction (felony or misdemeanor) under   Pennsylvania law

-You have completed your sentence (including probation and parole) at   least 3 years before starting the pardon process

-You take full responsibility for the cases on your record and can prove   that you have turned your life around

-You can explain how your criminal record is affecting you and why you   need a pardon.


A pardon is an act by the Governor that erases a conviction from your criminal record. It means you never have to “check the box” and say you’ve been convicted of the crime that has been pardoned. The Governor decides who should receive a pardon from the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons.

A pardon represents the total forgiveness of a criminal record. If granted, your entire criminal record would be destroyed. It would restore the rights and privileges that were lost as a result of a conviction, including serving on a jury, holding public office, owning a firearm, service in the military, international travel, and employment in various fields.

Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer; however, you may qualify for free legal help. Also, there are several area organizations with resources available to assist you.



  • You must either live in or have a criminal record in Lackawanna County and
  • At least 3 years must have passed since you completed your sentence (including probation or parole).

The Pardon Project of Lackawanna County can’t help you with federal or out-of-state criminal records. Other eligibility requirements may apply.

What is the Pardon Project?

The Pardon Project of Lackawanna County has a large and growing number of partner agencies who are ready to help you! This is a community effort to help eligible people get Pennsylvania convictions pardoned. The Project will help people with the process of completing and submitting a pardon application to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. The Project’s purpose is to help former offenders:

  • Get a Second Chance
  • Become and stay employed or get a better job
  • Eliminate roadblocks to housing and education.


Where Can I Learn More?

Contact: Lackawanna Pro Bono  (570) 961-2714  or 

The Pardon Project of Lackawanna County (570) 558-7571


  • In 2021, Outreach and Lackawanna Pro Bono partnered with the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity to establish the Pardon Project of Lackawanna County. Outreach has assisted over 20 adults in completing the paperwork required to petition the state for a pardon. Most of the adults that have sought assistance from Outreach have nonviolent criminal offenses that occurred over 15 years ago. A pardon is the only method for these individuals to seek to get the conviction removed from their criminal record. 

A pardon…

opens the door to jobs and careers, educational and financial opportunities, and overall life opportunities.

A pardon can improve family relations, build confidence, and give you the chance for a brand new start.

Voting Rights

Know Your Rights

In Pennsylvania, you only lose your right to vote if you are currently incarcerated for a felony conviction. If you lost your voting rights because of a conviction, you can register to vote immediately after your release. Pretrial detention and misdemeanors that didn’t involve an election or voting do not restrict your voting rights. 

Guide to Voting Rights after a Criminal Conviction- (PA page 16)

Outreach signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge in February 2021. The pledge represents a call to action for all members of the private sector to improve their communities by eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and creating a pathway for a second chance.


We are committed to providing individuals with criminal records, including formerly incarcerated individuals, a fair chance to participate in the American economy.