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Seminar to explore pardons for those in recovery

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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
The Westmoreland County Courthouse dome is silhouetted by the fading sun in the twilight of Tuesday, June 19, 2018 in Greensburg.

The Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force will join Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack on Aug. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westmoreland County Courthouse to host an event designed to help those in recovery from addiction learn about options for clearing a criminal record.

The Pathways to Pardons seminar comes in the wake of Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that the state is releasing a $5 million federal grant to provide employment services to those in recovery from addiction.

The Pathway to Pardons seminar, which is free and open to the public, will focus on the process involved in seeking pardons, expungements and commutations of criminal records.

National studies have pegged the economic cost of addiction in the U.S. at $100 billion a year or more when lost work time, court time, health care, shattered families and other associated costs are factored into calculations.

Tim Philips, director of the Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force said Pathways to Pardons can offer those in recovery an opportunity to put convictions behind them and return the work force with a clean slate.

“We’ve been advocating for this in Harrisburg for some time now,” Philips said. “The recovery community has a number of assets and we need to give folks who have been in recovery for some time a grace period, an opportunity to contribute to society again and this is a way to do it.”

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 412-320-7996, [email protected] or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

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