Legal advocate helps workers under shadow of criminal records

When it comes to how poor people are treated at work, Sharon Dietrich gets mad.

Feature (Pennsylvania)

Jane Von Bergen
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 20, 2016

Tags: Criminal Records

Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia


On Nov. 14, amendments to Act 5 went into effect in Pennsylvania, allowing people to ask the courts to seal their criminal records for minor crimes. Law enforcement can still see the entire record.

“Criminal records are the things that are killing our clients, and the reason that they’re primarily coming to seek help here,” Dietrich said. They have problems getting jobs and housing.

“It is a good start, for old misdemeanor convictions finally being eligible to be sealed. But it is just the first step,” she said. “We need the Clean Slate bill, which would make sealing automatic.”