CLS Files Lawsuit to Challenge Pennsylvania’s Childline Registry

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On August 10 parents, caregivers, and community organizations filed suit in the case of A.W. v. Commonwealth to challenge Pennsylvania’s ChildLine Registry as unconstitutional. The suit, filed in Commonwealth Court, alleges that parents and caregivers are listed on the Registry and labeled as “child abusers” without first having a chance to defend…

CLS logo, header reading The Clean Slate Screening Project: A Case Study in Scaling Up Record Clearing & Advocacy

The Clean Slate Screening Project: A Case Study

Legal services providers are frequently presented with the challenge of communicating complicated and evolving legal advice to large numbers of constituents. The Clean Slate Screening Project (CSSP), developed by Philadelphia-based Community Legal Services (CLS) in partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA), was conceived as a solution to that predicament when in 2018, the state…

Women holding out their arms, text: "Help Us Help Outselves so we can help others get free!!

Report: Supporting Women in the Criminal Legal System Through Access to Diversionary Programs

Today, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, as part of Incarcerated Women’s Working Group (“Working Group”) released a report on increasing access to diversionary programs for women in the criminal legal system. Diversion programs divert individuals accused of crimes away from traditional court trial and sentencing proceedings, instead requiring participation in community service, treatment, and other…

Report: Reforming the Child Abuse Registry System in Pennsylvania

Every year thousands of Pennsylvanians are placed on the child abuse registry for alleged child abuse or neglect, without first having an opportunity to challenge the allegations against them. These Pennsylvanians suffer devastating economic consequences, often for life, and the harm falls disproportionately on low-wage workers, workers of color, and their children. As the job…

PA General Assembly Unanimously Expands Criminal Record Sealing By Removing Court Debt and Other Barriers

On Wednesday, October 21st 2020, the Pennsylvania General Assembly unanimously enacted House Bill 440 (Delozier, R-Cumberland, and McClinton, D-Philadelphia), a bipartisan bill which advances Clean Slate policies in Pennsylvania. This bill builds upon the Clean Slate Law, Act 56 of 2018, to open jobs, housing and other opportunities to Pennsylvanians with criminal cases who deserve…