Collateral Consequences

job application formEach year, tens of thousands of juvenile records are created in hundreds of police stations and courtrooms throughout Illinois. There are few safeguards on the confidentiality of those records, and they can follow youth for the rest of their lives, impeding the ability of young people to transition to productive adulthood.

Although most of those records are for minor infractions or arrested that never resulted in formal charges, a tiny percentage of those records have been expunged. The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC) has found that less than one-third of one percent of juvenile arrests were expunged over the last decade. Expungement in Illinois is difficult and expensive.

The IJJC’s report “Burdened for Life: The Myth of Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement in Illinois” was written in partnership with CFJC. The report explains that Illinois laws and policies governing the treatment of court and arrest records of youth “threaten public safety, produce substantial unnecessary costs, and impede young people’s ability to transition to productive adulthood."