HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation today to automatically seal from public view the criminal records of people convicted of select offenses. The legislation, known as the Clean Slate Act, would seal a person’s criminal record if he is not convicted of another crime within ten years.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is among the supporters of the bill, House Bill 1419. The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“Over the last several decades, the commonwealth has created a destructive system of mass incarceration that has wrecked lives. A criminal record of any kind can create hurdles to employment, housing, education, and other basics of daily life for a person. In Pennsylvania, people are sentenced to excessive prison terms, and the punishment continues after they leave prison and try to get their lives back on track.

“We are grateful that the state House understands the need to lower barriers to re-entry and that this bill is getting closer to becoming law.”

The following can be attributed to Elizabeth Randol, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“The legislature has a lot of work to do to unwind mass incarceration. This bill is a positive step forward. We are especially thankful to Representative Sheryl Delozier and Representative Jordan Harris for their leadership in maneuvering the legislation through the House.”

HB 1419 now heads to the state Senate for consideration. The Senate passed a similar bill, Senate Bill 529, last year.