How does this project work?

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Expedited Pardon Process

The Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project has established the following process:

  • Step 1: Applicants must complete and submit an Intake Packet. See the Can I apply? page for eligibility requirements. See How to apply for application instructions.
  • Step 2: The Project Team will review Intake Packets as they receive them to identify candidates who appear most likely to receive a pardon from the Governor through the expedited process.
  • Step 3: The Project Team will notify applicants who have been accepted into the project as clients and assign their case to a service provider. Service providers for the Expedited Pardon Project include university law clinics and Ohio law firms. This assistance is free for those accepted into the Expedited Pardon Project.
  • Step 4: The service provider will work with project clients to complete a full pardon application. At this time, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (ODRC) will begin a full search of applicants’ criminal records.

    Review the Clemency Client Checklist

  • Step 5: The service provider will submit completed pardon applications to the Ohio Parole Board. The Parole Board will schedule a hearing.
  • Step 6: Service providers prepare project clients for their hearing and represent project clients at the hearing. This representation is free for those accepted into the Expedited Pardon Process. After the hearing, the Ohio Parole Board will submit its recommendations to the Governor.
  • Step 7: After the Parole Board submits its recommendations to the Governor, the Governor will issue the final decision on each pardon application. Only the Governor can decide to grant or deny a pardon.
  • Step 8: The Governor may also seal pardoned convictions.

Note: 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.

If an applicant does not meet the specific criteria established for the expedited application process, or if the project team is not able to prepare the full pardon application due to limited resources or otherwise declines the application, the project team will notify the applicant as soon as possible and provide the applicant with information about the traditional pardon process.

If after acceptance into the project a client is involved in subsequent criminal activity or if there are other new developments that may dramatically diminish the prospects for a pardon, the project team may advise the project client to pursue a traditional pardon.

Can I apply?