How does this project work?

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Expedited Application Process

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

  • Step 1: Applicants must complete and submit the required documents. See the Can I apply? page for eligibility. See the How to apply page for full instructions.
  • Step 2: The project team (consisting of faculty, staff and students at the Reentry Clinic at The University of Akron School of Law and the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law) will review initial applications 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 meet the criteria and have been accepted into the project as clients. They will then facilitate the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (ODRC) completion of a full search of applicants’ criminal records.
  • Step 4: The project team will work with accepted project clients to complete a full pardon application to the Ohio Parole Board. Clients are expected to provide additional information listed on the Clemency Client Checklist to help prepare a complete a compelling pardon application.

    Review the Clemency Client Checklist

  • Step 5: The project team will submit completed applications to the Ohio Parole Board. If the Parole Board determines the application meets the criteria for the project, it will schedule an expedited hearing (following a mandatory 60-day notice period). After each hearing, the Parole Board will submit its recommendations to the Governor.
  • Step 6: 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.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Partnering law schools have discretion to decline applications that do not align with the mission of the program.

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.

In addition, even after having been initially accepted into this pardon project, if an applicant 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 notify the applicant of a need to shift into the traditional pardon process.


Can I apply?