Providing a Path Forward

On the left is a list if items in black text each with a blue checkmark next to them. The items read expand your career horizons, restore your rights, obtain higher education, access volunteer opportunities, remove barriers to licensing, affirm positive life changes you have made. In the center is the logo for the Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project. On the right is a quote in black text from an expedited pardon applicant that reads I want to have a positive impact on the world around me and I do not want my record to get in the way of that.

A Pardon Could Help

Those convicted of a criminal offense in Ohio often face a lifetime of roadblocks. But if you’ve transformed your life after a conviction, you may not have to face those barriers forever; a pardon could help! Many Ohioans have received a pardon with free support from our experts.

The Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project is aimed at enhancing and expediting the process by which people apply for a formal pardon from the Governor under Ohio’s laws. The project seeks to reduce challenges surrounding a clemency application in Ohio for people meeting certain criteria who can show that they have been rehabilitated and have contributed positively to their communities after completing their sentences.

You can explore the application process, eligibility, and more by watching an introductory video on the project.

A set of four photographs with a red circle in the bottom left corner with white text that reads a pardon could help. The photographs are of a diverse group of smiling people in various environments including volunteer work, employment and recreation.

Profile of a Pardon Applicant

As of December 12, 2023, the project has received nearly 800 applications from 64 Ohio counties and 29 states. While applicants have many reasons for pursuing a pardon, the most common are employment and educational opportunities, removal of stigma, restoration of rights, and ability to volunteer in their community. This group is demographically diverse. Approximately 46 percent of the applicants identify as white, 50 percent identify as Black/African American, and the remaining applicants identify as another race/ethnicity, multiple, or it is unknown. Roughly two thirds of the applicants identified as male and about one third identified as female. A little over 50 percent of the applicants have an annual household income of less than $50,000, about 30 percent have a household income between $50,000 to $100,000, and the remainder either have household incomes above $100,000 or their income is unknown.

On the left is a map of Ohio counties. Ohio counties are highlighted in blue and white stripes because the Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project has received an application from that county. There are 64 counties highlighted in blue and white stripes. Black text to the right of the map reads 64 Ohio counties represented and 29 U.S. states represented. On the right is an icon of a document with black text that reads accepted clients had 1-21 criminal convictions on their record. The majority of accepted clients had between 1 and 3 convictions, though many had 5 or more convictions on their record.


To be considered for the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project, an applicant must meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the project. The Project Team has discretion to decline applications that do not align with the mission of the project. The two most common reasons for non-acceptance are: 1) it has been less than 10 years since the person completed their last sentence, and/or 2) they have a disqualifying offense on their record.

If you do not meet the minimum eligibility requirements to apply for an expedited pardon, you may still apply for a traditional pardon. For more information on other available remedies, including a traditional pardon, visit the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center’s Ohio Criminal Record Relief Options resource page.

Why seek a pardon?