Scientific research, the United States Supreme Court, and society as a whole acknowledges that juveniles are significantly different than adults and thus should be treated differently in the justice system. Due to their lack of impulse control, maturity, decision-making and brain development, a separate system was created to provide youth an opportunity to grow, develop and mature. Delinquent behavior is a stage that most youth will outgrow and rather than punish a youth for youthful mistakes, one of the core principles of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation. Youth are more susceptible to change and the juvenile system serves as a resource for helping troubled youth get back on track so they can become productive, responsible members of the community.
Part of the success of rehabilitating youth is allowing them to put their past behind them and strive towards success without the stigma associated with their adjudications. This is why expungement is so critically important. Juvenile delinquency records should be expunged in order to give youth a meaningful chance at rehabilitation.
With grant dollars from the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ), and in partnership with the State Advisory Group, and UJDA is holding free juvenile expungment clinics statewide. The expungment clinics serve as a one-stop-shop where individuals can get their fingerprints taken, motions filled out, fees waived and all documents filed all in one day with the assistance of a highly qualified and trained juvenile defense attorney.
For more information about upcoming expungment clinics, or for information about expunging your juvenile record, please email us at inbox.ujda.org.