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Watch: A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Be a Life Sentence to Poverty

Center for American Progress

By Jasmine Hardy, Betsy Pearl, and Rebecca Vallas 

Philadelphia resident Ronald Lewis was convicted of two misdemeanors in 2004. Almost 15 years later, his record still stands in the way of employment and other opportunities. However, states like Pennsylvania are advancing clean slate policies that seal minor criminal records after a set period of time, giving people like Ronald a second chance.