Chicago Muckrackers Take On Juvenile Expungements

Posted: September 25, 2011 in criminal record expungement, economic impact of records, Legislation

From Chicago Muckrakers:

For many Illinoisians arrested when they were juveniles, the novelist William Faulkner’s dictum that, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past,” rings frustratingly true.

Last year, WBEZ examined the state’s juvenile justice system. One set of stories featured young people who couldn’t access jobs as adults because they had been arrested years before.

Take the case of a Chicago resident named Franklin, arrested because he brought a knife to school with him at age 11. Franklin didn’t use the knife, and he never went to court for any kind of hearing about the matter.

But by the time he was 20 and seeking a $15-per-hour position with the U.S. Census Bureau, the incident haunted him out of a job. “By the time Franklin could trace the red flag on his record to his arrest at 11–an arrest for which he never went to court–it was too late,” WBEZ’s Linda Paul wrote. He didn’t get the job.

There is a path in place whereby people with juvenile arrest records can petition to have their records expunged. The vast majority of youth in the area don’t take these steps, however.

Read the rest especially the part where Mariah’s story is referenced…



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