Archive for February, 2011

In collaboration with other community-based organizations, Project NIA is advocating for an automatic expungement law to address juvenile criminal records as a member of the Coalition for Juvenile Expungement Reform.

Here is a fact sheet that explains the bill.

1. Read this one pager to get educated about juvenile expungement.
2. Sign the Coalition for Juvenile Expungement Reform’s online petition here.
3. Collect signatures for the attached Petition. Feel free to make as many copies as you need and gather as many signatures as possible. Return signatures to us by March 30th. You can mail completed petitions to us at: Project NIA c/o RPCC, 1530 West Morse Ave, Chicago IL 60626.
4. If you have someone who would like to share a story about how a juvenile criminal record has significantly impacted their lives, please ask them to contact us at We are collecting stories to document the impact of juvenile criminal records. We are also accepting video testimony.
5. Talk to your local House Representative about HB2841 and encourage them to support the bill. If you do talk to your representative, please contact us at to let us know if they are favorable or if they are likely to oppose the bill.
6. Talk to your local State Senator about juvenile expungement and let them know that a bill is likely to be coming their way soon. Let them know that you really want them to support any juvenile expungement bills that come to the Senate this year or in the future.
7. Finally, we are compiling a list of organizations that are willing to endorse HB2841. Please let us know if we can add your name to the list of existing supporters. Please e-mail us at to let us know if we can add you to the list of organizations supporting the bill. This is particularly urgent as the bill has a hearing in the House on March 3rd in the AM.
8. The HB 2841-Clear Up Juvenile Records Bill has been assigned to House Judiciary II – Criminal Law Committee and scheduled for a hearing on March 3, 2011 at 8:30am in Room D-1 Stratton Building in Springfield.

Before March 3rd (next Thursday), please reach out to the following judiciary members who will be voting on whether to pass HB2841 out of committee. Give them a call to let them know that you support HB2841 and want it to have a chance to be debated on the floor.

Emily McCasey (D)
85th District
Springfield (215) 782-4179
District (815) 372-0085

William Cunningham (D)
35th District
Springfield (217) 782-8200
District (773) 782-8200

David Reis (R)
108th District
Springfield (217) 782-2087
District (618) 392-0108

Jim Sacia (R)
89th District
Springfield (217) 782-8186
District (815) 232-0772


Good News… The Juvenile Expungement Bill that we are supporting has been assigned to the Judiciary II Criminal Law Committee. You can follow the progress of the bill here.

In addition, keep your eyes and ears open for an upcoming Day of Action when we will be making calls, sending e-mails and writing letters to committee members.

by Billy Dee

Today, we are asking you to help support a bill that we are passionate about and that we are working very hard to see pass in our legislature in IL. It is called the ‘Clear Up Juvenile Records” act. Here is what we are asking for and we are asking that if you live in IL, you sign this petition to support our efforts:

We the undersigned, demand a simple and inexpensive expungement process to ensure juvenile records are cleared.

The current expungement process is so complicated and expensive that according to the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Chicago Police arrested 18,287 youth under 17 years old in 2009 and only 437 juvenile records were expunged. The majority of these arrests are for minor offenses.

The failure to automatically clear these arrest records and the difficult process to obtain an expungement holds back youth in their transition to college, in applying for the military, and in seeking employment.

Specifically, we demand:

1.) That no local law enforcement agencies can forward juvenile records to the State Police.

2.) That an individual can petition the court to expunge their juvenile record anytime, for any reason.

Example: A record will be able to be eligible to be expunged if a youth is arrested but the petition is dismissed OR if a petition is never filed

3.) That a juvenile record is automatically expunged if a person is 18 years old and has had two years without an arrest. Law enforcement agencies would be responsible for expunging these records.

4.) To explicitly state the Illinois Human Rights Act to include civil rights violation if employers ask about expunged juvenile records

We encourage Illinois legislators and policy makers to address this critical issue to ensure our youth can successfully move forward in life.