Tools for Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records in Pennsylvania
Clean Slate Buddy
Community Legal Services is a private nonprofit that provides civil legal representation to thousands of low-income Philadelphians every year. CLS's Employment Unit helps clients' secure employment by expunging and sealing criminal records. CLS also maintains the Expungement Generator, a web application that nonprofits across the state use to automate creating and filing expungement petitions.
In 2018, Pennsylvania's legislature enacted Clean Slate, which provides for automated sealing of 30 million + criminal cases. Clean Slate also created rules for sealing convictions that could not be expunged under prior law. The main goal of the legislation is that these records will no longer be publicly accessible. Therefore, attorneys processing expungements need to adapt to the new limitations on record access. See this short Clean Slate explainer video for more info.
CLS is looking for assistance building tools to automate as much of the new expungement/sealing process as possible. We'd like to develop a frontend for attorneys to create petitions as well as modular backend tools for parsing and analyzing criminal records. It would be great if these tools could also support bulk-screening or processing.
Process mapping, to understand and document attorneys' workflow when representing clients for expungements and sealing
front-end development, for building friendly interfaces for creating expungements (i.e. React or Vue)
back-end development for encoding legal rules of expungements and sealing, as well as server-side code for a web application (python, probably)
If you're interested or would like to know more, please reach out!