JPMorgan Chase's human-shaped installation of expungement papers

JPMorgan Chase campaign raises awareness of Clean Slate legislation

A series of sculptures installed in Philadelphia’s Independence Plaza draw attention to the importance of passing legislation that will help people with criminal records get back into work

An estimated one in three Americans with prior criminal records have faced significant barriers to finding meaningful employment. Coinciding with Second Chance Month, the Waiting Workforce installation is part of JPMorgan Chase and creative agency Droga5’s Make Happen campaign, which aims to create opportunities for people with criminal records.

Collaborating with art and directing collective The Glue Society, Droga5 crafted 38 human-shaped sculptures – one for each state that hasn’t passed the Clean Slate legislation which automatically clears criminal records once people complete their sentences.

The sculptures are made with over a million pages of real expungement documents. This represents how the expensive legal process behind clearing criminal records can hold people back from getting jobs, housing opportunities, and even voting. The idea is that each time a state passes Clean Slate legislation, another statue will be removed until there are none left.

Scott Bell, chief creative officer at Droga5, says: “This is a prime example of how we can use creativity to affect change – even though millions of people are suffering to get back into society, millions more don’t even know about this problem. We hope that the Waiting Workforce can shine a light on the dire need for the remaining states to pass Clean Slate legislation.”

JPMorgan Chase's human-shaped installation of expungement papers

JPMorgan Chase estimates that helping people with criminal records re-join the workforce would add $87 billion annually to the US economy. The bank has committed to 10% of its new hires in the US annually being people with previous convictions.

Philadelphia was chosen to launch the campaign because it was the first state to pass Clean Slate laws. The installation opened on the same day as JPMorgan Chase’s Second Chance Business Coalition Conference and will remain on display until the end of April.

Agency: Droga5 New York
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Scott Bell
Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady
Group Creative Director: Haywood Watkins III
Creative Directors: Tom Coleman, Derek Lui, Ben Kay
Art Director: Ross Weaver
Copywriter: Aaron Araya
Art Director: Mollie Bond
Copywriters: Kevin Kearse, Jacques Wortsman
Group Design Director: Mark Yoon
Senior Designer: Andrew Diemer
Designer: Catarina Sterlacci
Production Partners: The Glue Society, Biscuit Filmworks