Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile and Criminal Justice|Juvenile Records Expungement|Second Chances

Future Interrupted: The Collateral Damage Caused by Proliferation of Juvenile Records

Every year, 1.5 million youth are arrested across the country. The moment each of these children comes into contact with the police, a record is created.  These records are not confidential.  They do not disappear when the young person’s case is closed or when she becomes an adult. These records interfere with children’s opportunities to move ahead in life and demonstrate their ability to make better choices.

Children’s juvenile court records tell the story of what they once did—not the story of who they are.

There is not a single school in Florida that will accept me into their program in order for me to pursue a more advanced career in health care.

In Future Interrupted, Juvenile Law Center urges that we allow children to grow up unfettered by their childhood mistakes—to have their court involvement remain in the past so they can move forward with their lives.

Juvenile records are increasingly available to the public through state police databases or private background check company databases. This report demonstrates, through youths’ own stories, how records carry devastating collateral consequences when they remain unprotected.  The report also examines how the background check companies operate to sometimes provide inaccurate or out of date information.

Future Interrupted acts as a call to policymakers to increase record confidentiality and opportunities for expungement and decrease ready access to juvenile record information.  It also argues for employers, educational institutions and housing authorities to understand that children grow up and the mistakes of their past shouldn’t follow them for their lifetime.

How are juvenile records created? What information gets included, and where do the records go? This infographic explains the answers to these questions and how juvenile records can last a lifetime. Click the image to englarge.


Dina always wanted to become a Nurse Practitioner and has worked very hard to achieve her goal. But, Dina’s juvenile record is preventing her from fulfilling that dream.


Learn more about Dina's story >>


Riya Saha Shah, Esq. and Jean Strout, Esq.
February 2016


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