Connecticut Youth Deserve a Clean Slate

Riya Saha Shah, Esq.; Marisa M. Halm, The CT Mirror •

Youth who are arrested often find themselves on a path of family separation, educational disruption, and trauma. When they exit the juvenile justice system, youth are anxious to put the experience behind them. Yet, records of court involvement have the potential to stymie their future efforts to grow into productive citizens.

Criminal records impede employment, housing, professional licensure and other opportunities. Raised Bill 691, a bill the Connecticut legislature will consider today, would give adults a clean slate by automatically erasing certain records. We are proposing an amendment to ensure that youth with juvenile records, who also suffer devastating future consequences because of the stigma of a record, also receive this benefit.

Protecting the confidentiality of records is central to the juvenile justice system’s goal of rehabilitation.

About the Expert

Riya leads the organization’s work on juvenile record confidentiality and expungement. She has written extensively on collateral consequences, expungement, and the right to counsel, and was instrumental in Pennsylvania’s successful challenge to the imposition of harsh registration laws for youth charged with sexual offenses.