Presentation on theme: "Www.americanbar.org | www.abacle.org Debunking the Myths: Public Accessibility of Juvenile Delinquency Records Monday, March 17th, 2014 | 1:00 PM Eastern."— Presentation transcript:
| Debunking the Myths: Public Accessibility of Juvenile Delinquency Records Monday, March 17th, 2014 | 1:00 PM Eastern Sponsored by the ABA Section of Litigation & Center for Professional Development
| Speakers Brent Pattison, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Middleton Children’s Rights Center at Drake University Law School, Moderator Riya Shah, Staff Attorney, Juvenile Law Center Kim Ambrose, Senior Lecturer and Director, Race and Justice Clinic, University of Washington School of Law Sharlyn Grace, VISTA Attorney, Children and Families Practice Group, LAF, Chicago
| Juvenile Records – A Historical Perspective 1899 – First Juvenile Court To spare juveniles from harsh proceedings of adult court, punitive and unseemly conditions of adult jails and penitentiaries, and the stigma of being branded “criminal”
| Juvenile Records – A Historical Perspective 1980s-90s - Criminalization
| Common Vocabulary Limited Accessibility Sealing Setting aside No Accessibility Expungement Destruction
| Why Records Exist Community protection Track criminal behavior patterns Provide for appropriate levels of supervision
| Why Expunge Records? Utility diminishes over time Incorrect information in records Fails to appreciate adolescence is transient Collateral Consequences
| How do juvenile records affect people?* May be asked to disclose a juvenile record for: College applications Job applications May show up on background checks for: Jobs and professional licenses (teaching, nursing, banking, private security, other jobs [unlawfully]) Access to Public/Subsidized Housing TANF benefits Immigration/citizenship applications – discretionary factors Police Harassment *Impact varies by state law and status of record (sealed, expunged, etc.).
| Racial Disproportionality
| Racial Disproportionality Consideration – Insufficient efforts to identify and develop permanency resources for youth Strategy: Request specificity on record and in court order of agency’s Reasonable Efforts. Seek “No Reasonable Efforts” finding requiring the agency to continue to seek a more appropriate permanency plan Consideration – Youth may wish to remain in foster care Strategy: Work with youth to develop permanent connections. Engage “permanent connection” in youth’s transition process and foster care case.
| Where do Records Live? AdjudicationCourthouse Private companies State and Local Law Enforcement FBIInternet Juvenile Prison System
| 50 Different Systems Are juvenile court records stored in a different database from adult records? Are arrest records linked to juvenile court records? Are other agencies storing and/or releasing juvenile records? Are juvenile court records released to commercial data aggregators?
| Accessing Records
| Who Sees a Juvenile Record? Law Enforcement Courts (if court record) Federal Government –Military –Immigration officials Potential Employers –Legally –Illegally
| Advocates for Public Juvenile Records Open Government Advocates: open courts=open records=accountability Newspapers/Media: want quick and inexpensive access to information Landlord Associations: want efficient filtering mechanism for tenants Prosecutors: Some prosecutors believe it is a deterrent, want to use it for future decision- making, believe public has a “right to know.”
| Sealing and Expungement Policies and Programs
| AK: upon discharge from court supervision, all records of delinquency are sealed DE: access to sealed records limited to law enforcement for purposes of identifying whether individual is eligible for “first-time offender” program Automatic Sealing CA: after 5 years, court automatically orders expungement if no subsequent court involvement MS: court expunges records of diverted cases at discharge Automatic expungement PA: Petition at any time after case discharged IN: Both sides present evidence and court determines after a hearing Expungement by application
| Who Sees Records After Expungement?* Court Officers (only if charged again) Law enforcement (only if applying as employee) Federal Government –Military –Immigration officials No Other Employers *Based on the Illinois juvenile expungement process.
| Reducing Barriers In Washington, 10 years of slow progress in the legislature. This year: HB Legislation vs. Court Rules vs. administrative policy. –Advocating for friendlier court rules –Advocating within the administrative office of the courts on their policies regarding electronic distribution of juvenile records. –Advocating for resources to public defenders for sealing records.
| JUDICIAL INFORMATION SYSTEM DATA DISSEMINATION POLICY (New) VI. LIMITATION ON DISSEMINATION OF JUVENILE OFFENDER COURT RECORDS The dissemination of juvenile offender court records maintained in the Judicial Information System shall be limited as follows: –1. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall not electronically transfer to a licensee by means of file transfer protocol any information from the official juvenile offender court file that is in a single data file that contains information from more than one file or more than one court except for research purposes as permitted by statute or court rule. –2. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall not display any information from an official juvenile offender court file on a publicly- accessible website that is a statewide index of court cases unless the entire official juvenile offender court file maintained in the judicial information is available on the website.
| 3 misdemeanors instead of 1 expunged per year Eligibility when case closed 1 year instead of 5 years 1 felony expunged per year Michigan Summary offenses expunged after 6 months rather than 5 years Petition at any age with DA consent Pennsylvania
| Positive Efforts Illinois Efforts to Increase Juvenile Expungement Petitions: 1.Court-based Help Desk 2.Outreach and Education 3.Pro Bono Involvement a.Expungement Clinics at Alternative High Schools: Bring the lawyers to the school! b.Clerk’s summits 4.Collaboration
| Common Misperceptions Young people I talk to often think: –No “record” for mere arrests; –No “record” if not found guilty; –Juvenile records automatically disappear at age 18; –No one can see juvenile records; –Serious offenses can’t be expunged; and –The expungement process is expensive.
| Collaboration and Peer Education: Expunge.io
| Collaboration and Peer Education: Expunge.io
| Pro Bono Projects The Need: In 2012, over 14,000 juvenile cases were filed in Washington State, each creating a court record. Building awareness: Thousands of individuals do not know that their juvenile criminal history will affect them until it is too late. Self-help and Clinics: TeamChild Juvenile Records Sealing Clinic and Resources
| Questions? Brent Pattison, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Middleton Children’s Rights Center at Drake University Law School, Moderator Riya Shah, Staff Attorney, Juvenile Law Center Kim Ambrose, Senior Lecturer and Director, Race and Justice Clinic, University of Washington School of Law Sharlyn Grace, VISTA Attorney, Children and Families Practice Group, LAF, Chicago