How to apply

image of Ohio Statehouse with blue gradient overlay

Eligibility

Before you begin, check whether you fulfill the basic criteria to be considered for the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project by visiting the Can I apply? page.

If you feel that you meet the criteria, follow the steps below to submit your application.

Video on How to Apply

The project team created a video to help applicants better understand how to apply. The video covers the differences between the traditional and expedited pardon pathways, the expedited pardon process and eligibility criteria, and a step-by-step review of how to apply for an expedited pardon including a detailed walk-through of the initial three required documents. To watch the video on Facebook with captions, click the button below. For a basic list of instructions, see the Steps section.

WATCH THE VIDEO

Steps

1) Download and complete the three required forms

Download, print and complete the three forms below. Click on each button to open, then select download and/or print from the menu bar.

  1. INTAKE QUESTIONNAIRE
  2. DRC 3033 Screening form
  3. DRC 3012 CLEMENCY HEARING RELEASE OF INFORMATION

Please note that the Intake Questionnaire was updated 6/15/2021 and DRC 3012 was updated 11/12/2020. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2) Obtain a BCI background check

You must submit a Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) background check with your application. A BCI background check costs between $30-$40. Once you submit your request, it can take up to 30 days or more to receive your BCI background check.

Ohio Residents

If you live in Ohio, you can obtain a BCI background check by visiting or contacting a Webcheck location. For a listing of locations, visit the Ohio Attorney General Webcheck Community Listing page by clicking the button below.

When you complete the application for the background check, be sure to select “other” as the reason for your request and write your reason as either “personal” or “expungement/sealing.”

find a webcheck location

Non-Ohio Residents

If you live outside of Ohio, you can obtain a BCI background check by doing the following:

  1. Print out a BCI fingerprinting card. When you complete the card, be sure to select “other” as the reason for your request and write your reason as either “personal” or “expungement/sealing.”
  2. Print out a Request for Exemption from Electronic Information.
  3. Fill out both forms and take them to a local fingerprinting location near your home.
  4. Once you have your fingerprints in hand, please send both the card and the Request for Exemption from Electronic Information form, along with a check or money order, to P.O. Box 365, London, Ohio 43140.

The background check report will be sent to the address you enter in the address field on the fingerprinting card form.

3) Make and keep a copy

Make a copy of the completed documents and background check results and keep them for your records. Submitted application materials will not be returned.

4) Submit your documents

Submit the three completed forms (originals) and BCI background check results by mailing them to the appropriate address below.

If you are using the U.S. Postal Service, mail to:

University of Akron School of Law
Legal Clinic – Expedited Pardon Project
Akron, OH 44325-2901

If you are using FedEx or UPS, mail to:

University of Akron School of Law
Legal Clinic – Expedited Pardon Project
150 University Avenue
Akron, OH 44325-2901

5) Pre-screening and acceptance process

Once an application is received, the project team pre-screens the applicant to make sure they have no disqualifying convictions and meet the minimum standards for the project. Next, project team members contact pre-screened applicants to discuss the following: 1) all conviction information including any out-of-state or federal convictions; 2) the facts of each of their convictions; 3) their work history; 4) their community service history; and 5) any other information that might impact their eligibility for an expedited pardon. The project team then reviews all application materials and information provided by the applicant, determines whether they are accepted as a client, and notifies them of their acceptance status via mail and telephone call.

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.

6) Full pardon application and decision

Next, accepted clients work with the project team, other advocacy organization or an attorney on preparing a full pardon application (separate from the initial forms outlined in step 1 above). The full pardon application is completed after acceptance into the program and requires the client to write a letter to the governor, gather letters of support and information about their convictions, and collect any supporting documentation. Upon completion, the full pardon application packet is submitted to the Ohio Parole Board, which will schedule the client for an expedited hearing following a mandatory 60-day notice period. Once it conducts the hearing, the Board will submit 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.

how does this project work?

Access to printing and copying

If you do not have access to a printer or copier at work or at home, most local libraries will have computers, copiers and printers available for use. Use this Google search to find the closest library. Shipping stores such as UPS or FedEx Office also provide printing and copying services.

Reporting

Please note, some of the information you provide on the initial intake questionnaire may be used for the purposes of creating reports about the project.

 

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