YORK - York City Councilwoman Edquina Washington wants ex-felons to know their knows rights once they return home from prison. So, Washington is holding an event to educate others about the pardon system.
"I know individuals who can't get a job [or] who may have something in their background from 10 [or] 15 years ago, but they have totally changed their lives," said York City Councilwoman Edquina Washington.
Washington believes a lack of communication is the primary reason people do not take the necessary steps to clean up their record.
"There are community members who do need a pardon," said Washington. "Or who just want the information to even take back to other family members and friends [and] get the real information about it," said Washington.
People with criminal records often face barriers when applying for jobs, housing or continuing their education.
"We process over 500 [applications], 500 come in 500 we send for him [Governor Wolf] to review. It doesn`t become a pardon until the governor signs it," said Secretary of the Board of Pardons Brandon Flood.
The secretary is familiar with the criminal justice system. He successfully obtained a pardon from Governor Wolf in April of this year. Flood was pardoned for five of his past criminal convictions.
"A lot of these terms are used interchangeably. Even some lawmakers are using so expungement, limited access, sealing pardons, commutations, so there's a lot of terms you have to contend with."
Flood, along with State Representative Carol Hill-Evans and other community leaders will speak at the event. Washington believes that the 'Pardon Me' event will give others a new beginning.
"There are some changes that are on the way and we're just here to give you the information and let you know that there's people here in this community that believe in you and believe that there's a brighter day down the road," said Washington.
'Pardon Me' event will take place tomorrow at Studio 29 on East Princess Street. The event kicks off at 6 p.m.