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'Clean Slate' Offers A Fresh Start For Low-Level, Non-Violent Offenders

Matt Rourke
A bill signed by Gov. Tom Wolf last year would allow Pennsylvanians to scrub their records of certain nonviolent misdemeanors.

Criminal convictions can affect people's working lives and chances of finding safe and suitable housing for decades to come, even when the charges were minor and put no one in harm's way.

This winter, Pennsylvania became the first state in the country to enact a “Clean Slate" law, which seals low-level, non-violent conviction information after 10 years, presuming associated fines and fees are also paid. Advocates say they hope the legislation will be a model for other jurisdictions. Tuesday's guests include:

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia is recruiting volunteers to assist with the Clean Slate Record Clearing Project. Find more information here.

Credit Courtesy of David Folkenflik
Courtesy of David Folkenflik
David Folkenflik, NPR's media correspondent, will be in Pittsburgh this month to speak as part of the Media Innovator Series at Point Park University.

Elsewhere in the program, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik says that despite limited resources and evolving standards for daily news, most outlets still provided the public with “the best possible journalism they could” in 2018.

He explores the highs and lows of national media last year, covering the #MeToo movement and the challenges unique to the Pittsburgh market. 

Folkenflik, who also hosts WBUR's national program “On Point,” will be a keynote guest at the Media Innovators Speaker Series at the Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University next Tuesday. Tickets are available here.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.   

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
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