Advocacy Toolkit

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT SB3636 (Clearing the Blacklog of Juvenile Records) & SB3637 (Simplifying the Juvenile Expungement Process)

As many as 64 million Americans have arrest records, many of which never resulted in conviction. In addition, we recently learned that nearly a third of all U.S. young people are arrested by the age of 23. Juveniles suffer incalculable collateral consequences from being arrested or charged with a crime, even where it does not lead to a conviction. These consequences include, but are not limited to, restrictions on:

1. Housing
o Juveniles with prior arrests or charges against them are often prohibited from living in or visiting property owned by the Chicago Housing Authority
o Landlords often refuse to rent property to juveniles with an arrest or court record

2. Employment
o Although Illinois law prohibits the disclosure of juvenile records to anyone other than government officials, the juvenile, and his/her guardian, in practice juvenile arrest records are disclosed in background checks and made available to the public
o Employment opportunities are limited for juveniles with a record because employment applications require applicants to disclose prior arrests or charges
o Juveniles with prior arrests or charges against them are ineligible to join the military
o Juveniles with an arrest or court record are unable to gain licensure to join certain professions, including nursing and cosmetology

3. Education
o Juveniles are often suspended by or receive limited educational opportunities from primary and secondary schools that have access to juvenile records through a reciprocal agreement with local law enforcement facilities
o Juveniles are often denied admission to undergraduate and graduate institutions, including law, physical therapy, nursing, and medical schools, that require disclosure of any juvenile arrests or court records
o Scholarship and loan opportunities are limited for juveniles with prior arrests or charges filed against them

Many of these individuals encounter the stigma associated with having a criminal record as they try to become productive members of society. The UN-MARKED Campaign is calling on our legislators to make some commonsense reforms to make the juvenile expungement process more effective.

We need YOUR HELP:

URGE YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT SB3636 & SB3637 TO ALLOW JUVENILE ARRESTS AND CERTAIN CRIMINAL RECORDS TO BE EXPUNGED MORE EFFECTIVELY.

What You Need to Know:
• Automatic Expungement of juvenile records of arrests that were never referred to court and/or never led to conviction will help people with those records avoid discrimination in employment, housing, education, public assistance, and other necessities of life.

• Employers and others should not be able to obtain records of arrests that were never referred to court and/or never led to conviction, since the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” is a bedrock of our nation’s system of justice.

• More efficient expunging of records of minor convictions will protect public safety and improve communities and the nation as a whole by helping the hundreds of thousands of individuals with a criminal record lead law-abiding lives, support their families and become productive members of society.

What You Need to Do:
Please call, fax, or email your Legislators and urge them to support SB3636 & SB3637 to allow individuals who were never referred to court or convicted or have minor juvenile convictions to have their criminal records expunged more effectively. To find your legislator’s contact information, visit this website.

What You Need to Say:
Ask your Legislators to support SB3637 to allow individuals who were never referred to court or convicted or have minor juvenile convictions to have their criminal records expunged more effectively so they will not be discriminated against and can lead law-abiding and productive lives.

More urgently, we ask that you reach out to members of the Senate Criminal Law Committee, this week to ask them to support these bills. You can find information about the members of the committee HERE. The bills will have a hearing next week.

The following are additional Senators that we would love you to reach out to (but please begin with the members of the Senate Criminal Law Committee first):

Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D)
– 57th District
– Senate Majority Leader

Senator John J. Cullerton (D)
– 6th District
– President of the Senate

Senator Don Harmon (D)
– 39th District
– President Pro Tempore

Senator Matt Murphy (R)
– 27th District
– Republican Caucus Chair

Senator William Delgado (D)
– 2nd District

Senator Donne E. Trotter (D)
– 17th District
– Majority Caucus Chair

Here are a set of resources that you can use in discussing the bills with legislators and others:

Un-Marked Campaign One Pager

Juvenile Expungement Talking Points (Language for Discussing these Bills)

Comparison of Adult and Juvenile Expungement

Campaign Briefing Memo To Educate Yourself About What The Bills Are Addressing

Flow Chart Explaining the Current Juv Expungement System Under Section 915 & 622