We had the Pathways to Pardons program this evening at the Altoona Library. The average attendance at the programs previously held around the state was 25, we had 70. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack was there with his Chief of Staff, two officials from the Department of Corrections, and Judy Rosser from the Blair County Drug and Alcohol Partnership. The staff walked everyone through the pardons process, which takes about three years from the time an application is filed until a hearing is granted. Many people have a conviction in their background that prohibits them from getting a good job or owning a firearm. Often that conviction was for a retail theft or drug possession charge they got when they were young and have lived an exemplary life since, often for decades. The presenters emphasized that a strong case for a pardon can be made if someone has five or more years without any further criminal history (including traffic violations), has a job, volunteers in their community, and shows remorse for their actions. If they do that, they have a good chance of being granted a pardon, which eliminates the conviction from their record. Maybe tonight’s program will help someone who deserves better to succeed.