There is a lot of confusion about the numbers of juvenile expungements completed by the court. WBEZ recently reported as part of their Inside and Out series about juvenile justice in Illinois that only 95 juvenile expungement petitions were successful in 2009. This reporting is disputed however by numbers that were received directly from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. You can see the chart below for those numbers:
So as you can see the Clerk of the Court claims over 400 successful juvenile expungements in 2009 (not including numbers for November and December). Either way, these numbers are woefully low. In 2009, Chicago Police arrested 18,287 youth under 17 years old. In Illinois, an arrest = a criminal record. This means that over 18,000 Chicago youth just last year have criminal records; most of these will technically be eligible for expungement. Across the state, nearly 48,000 youth are arrested each year. It is easy to see that the only way to address the need to erase youth criminal records will be through a systemic intervention.