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State to modernize clemency application process, allow electronic filing

Jaqueline Larma
AP, file

On today’s episode of The Confluence: 

State Board of Pardons has updated its clemency system to allow for electronic applications and checking application status online
(0:00 - 7:37)

The process of applying for clemency has received a major update for the first time in decades. The Board of Pardons is now allowing applications to be filed electronically, and through the BOP’s new mobile app.

Clemency can either pardon someone who has completed their sentence, or shorten a sentence for someone who is reformed and believes they have been over-sentenced.

Board Secretary Celeste Trusty says the modernization will give applicants agency, because they are able to check the status of their application online now, instead of needing to contact the board’s office directly.

“People face barriers and consequences at every step for largely the rest of their lives through a criminal conviction,” says Trusty. “So many people have to lose their licenses for things, and the punishment is so great [for incarceration], and so pardons will allow people to be able to have a second chance who deserve a second chance.”

Trusty says the online application process could be available by the end of 2022.

Financial mismanagement can be an early warning sign of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
(7:42 - 17:51)

By 2025, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 320,000 Pennsylvanians older than 65 will have Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Issues with language and memory can be early signs of dementia. But, people should also be on the lookout for financial mismanagement.

WESA’s Health and Science reporter Sarah Boden is investigating the toll financial mismanagement has on families caring for members who are struggling with dementia. She’s also looking to hear from listeners about their personal experiences with this issue.

“According to AARP, seniors hold 83% of the wealth in this country, so now is a good time to get in front of problems related to issues with cognition and take a few steps to protect yourself,” says Liz Loewy. She’s the co-founder and COO at EverSafe, a tech company specializing in age-related financial issues, along with fraud and identity theft prevention. Before founding EverSafe, Liz was the former chief of the Elder Abuse Unit at the New York District Attorney's Office.

Churches and fire departments return to hosting dine-in fish fry events
(18:03 - 22:30)

The lenten fish fry season is coming to an end. If your fry of choice is a church parish, tomorrow might be your last chance to get a fish sandwich, halushki, pierogi or some other traditional side dish. WESA’s the Confluence went out and got a slice of life from fish fries around the city for this audio postcard.

Thanks to Jean Baldauff, Ruth O’Brien-McMullen, Kristy and Dave Sails, John Green, Sean Campbell, and the teams of workers and customers at fish fries across the city.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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