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Clean Slate Law Brings Hope to those Trying to Get Jobs

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Pennsylvania started sealing millions of criminal records Friday as part of a clean slate law signed into law last year by Gov. Tom...

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Pennsylvania started sealing millions of criminal records Friday as part of a clean slate law signed into law last year by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The goal of the law is to help people with criminal records get back on their feet.

Administrators at CareerLink near Tannersville think the new law will help many of the clients find work.

Jaymaul Williams from Tobyhanna came to CareerLink to look for work.

"Nothing really specific, just anything I can get right now," Williams said.

A new law might help more people find work. Last year, Gov. Wolf signed the Clean Slate bill into law. It was designed to help people with criminal records get back on their feet. The state started sealing criminal records on Friday.

"If you're looking at ex-offenders, depending on the crimes that they have committed, they can have a very hard time finding employment well into after they have committed the crimes and paid their debt to society, so to speak. This is very, very beneficial for them," said Deborah Harrison, Monroe County CareerLink.

According to the law, records that are eligible for sealing include people who have been found not guilty in court, nonviolent crimes committed more than 10 years ago, and some misdemeanor convictions.

Administrators at CareerLink tell Newswatch 16 they see people in this type of situation on a monthly basis so they are hoping this new program will boost the morale of people to find better jobs.

Larry Murphy from Marshalls Creek just learned of the new law. He thinks it will help a lot of people.

"People make mistakes. Times change and people change and something shouldn't haunt you for the rest of your life," Murphy said.

Pennsylvania is the first state to implement the law.

People found guilty of serious crimes, like murder, rape, and child endangerment are not eligible.

Cases that are approved will be automatically sealed by June of next year.