What Can a Pardon Do for Formerly Convicted Persons?

Men and women from all walks of life – professionals, educators, technical service people, and elected officials, business owners and managers, parents and community activists – have been convicted of criminal offenses and now bear the weight of having a criminal record.

At some time in the past, they made a mistake – perhaps you are one of those people, or you know someone who is. Serving the time assigned by the courts – you’ve handled that, and you’re now free from confinement. You’ve completed your probation or parole and are now working to rebuild your life. Since the national tragedy of September 11, background checks prior to employment have become routine – and they aren’t just “surface” checks.

Pretty much anything that’s happened in your past can now be found online – for not a lot of time or money. Your conviction record can be accessed along with court records, and your past can be held against you as you work to move forward. What are your options?

  • Live with it – difficult, but do-able. Many people with criminal records have been able to secure employment, advance in a career field, and live productive, positive lives. There is no shame in having made a mistake – the shame is in NOT trying to get better. This is a do-able, but very difficult road to follow.

  • Hope for the best – this can be done, and we all should hope for the best in any situation we find ourselves in, but it’s also unrealistic. Hope is not going to clear your criminal record or convince very many people to give you a break and let you prove that you are more than the sum of your negative interactions with law enforcement and the courts. You might be able to find someone willing to take a chance on you, but with a generally tight job market, those good-hearted folks are becoming fewer and farther between.

  • Apply for and receive an Absolute Pardon for your past criminal activities and convictions. An Absolute Pardon (aka a Full Pardon) results in your adult Connecticut criminal record being ERASED. Your entire criminal history must be included in the application, but if you are successful, it will be as if it never happened. There will be no record of your former criminal convictions and you can say you’ve never been convicted of a crime.