The Importance Of Expungement

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We know, in this country, that children are inherently different from adults and studies confirm this (Shah, Fine, & Gullen, 2014). These proven studies, have influenced the U.S. Supreme Court in making case law on treating youths in a different manner from adults. This includes the ability to have a juvenile record expunged (Shah, Fine, & Gullen, 2014). When a juvenile commits an offense and an investigation is conducted, many pieces of personal information are collected. Most states have realized, protecting this information of youths, should be guided under separate regulations than adults (Shah, Fine, & Gullen, 2014). In the United States, we understand that youths are more apt to make changes in behavior, and should not have the obstacle of transitioning into adulthood with the burden of a record (Shah, Fine, & Gullen, 2014).

Expungement basically means that a record will be destroyed and it will be as if it never happened (Shah, Fine, & Gullen, 2014). This is true to some degree, but no record is ever truly wiped clean. Each state in America has established laws, which govern the process for expungement. For example, some states are set up to automatically expunge juvenile records at a certain age to set them up for success, as they transfer into adult status (Shah, Fine, & Gullen, 2014). In other states, the court has to be petitioned by the individual. Also, just because a record is expunged, some instances still require discloser of the juvenile record

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