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 November 15, 2022, the project has received over 500 applications from 60 Ohio counties and 23 states. While applicants have many reasons for pursuing a pardon, the most common are employment and educational opportunities, ability to volunteer in their community, removal of stigma, and restoration of rights. This group is demographically diverse. Approximately 47 percent of the applicants identify as white, just under 50 percent identify as Black/African American, and the remaining applicants identify as another race/ethnicity 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. Counties are highlighted in blue if the Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project has received an application from that county. Black text to the right of the map reads 60 Ohio counties represented and 23 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. While the majority of accepted clients had between 1 and 3 convictions, some had 5 or more criminal 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. There are also other remedies available under Ohio law. For more information on other available remedies, including a traditional pardon, read the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center’s educational handouts on rights restoration mechanisms in Ohio. An accessible version of the information provided within the handouts is available upon request to

Why seek a pardon?