About the Campaign…

UPDATE: SB3636 failed to pass out the Senate Criminal Law Committee. SB3637 was extended. Due to legislative procedures, SB3637 has become SB2777

SB3637/SB2777
Un-Marked Campaign: Increasing Youth Opportunities for Illinois’ Future

A strong future for Illinois demands that youth have access to opportunities to work and further their education, and pay taxes. Every year, tens of thousands of youth across the state are arrested, and never charged nor convicted. Currently, these youth have to live with the collateral consequences of having an arrest record—including barriers to education and employment opportunities.

The Un-Marked Campaign is calling on the General Assembly to pass this bill to:

• Help youth get jobs and further their education
• Reduce juvenile crime and recidivism
• Ensure juveniles have the same rights as adults to petition for expungement
• Create a more efficient criminal records system

1. Make the Petitioning Process Fair (SB2777): Illinois youth who want to work or go to college before they turn 18 should be able to go before a judge to have their arrest record reviewed. Currently, youth have to wait until they are 18 years old, while adults can petition at any time. Youth who are arrested and released without being charged or found not delinquent of an offense by the court should have the same right as adults to petition for expungement.

• This bill would ensure juveniles are able to petition for an expungement hearing at any time—not wait until they are 18. Youth would stand before a judge, the State’s Attorney and others would reserve the right to file objections, and the judge would retain the authority to grant or deny petitions;
• Youth have the same right as adults to file multiple offenses on one petition;

Here are the key elements included in SB2777:

Make the Petitioning Process Fair: Illinois youth who want to work or go to college before they turn 18 should be able to go before a judge to have their arrest record reviewed. Currently, youth have to wait until they are 18 years old, while adults can petition at any time. Youth who are arrested and released without being charged or found not delinquent of an offense by the court should have the same right as adults to petition for expungement.

* This bill would ensure juveniles are able to petition for an expungement hearing for up to three offenses before they are 18. Youth would stand before a judge, the State’s Attorney and others would reserve the right to file objections, and the judge would retain the authority to grant or deny petitions;
• Youth would have the same right as adults to file multiple offenses on one petition;
• This bill would repeal section 705 ILCS 405/5-915 of the Juvenile Court Act, which became effective in January 2010 to go back to having only one section (705 ILCS 405/5-915) of the Juvenile Court Act govern the expungement process. We believe that this would address some of the current conflicts that occur in the law.

Overall, this bill will make the state’s juvenile justice system more fair and efficient. And most importantly, it will protect the rights of youth and ensure that youth—and the state—can share a strong future.