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

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.

Jasmine Hardy is a video editor at the Center for American Progress. Betsy Pearl is the campaign manager for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center. Rebecca Vallas is the vice president for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center.