Futures in the Balance: Examples of How Juvenile Court Hurts Youth and Communities

Involvement with the delinquency system—including arrests, charges that get dismissed, and adjudications— can create obstacles to a young person’s success. Many youth experience overwhelming hurdles because their juvenile records are available to the public, appear on background checks, or create long-term debt from fines and fees, which can result in denial of employment, housing, loans, and educational opportunities.

This publication presents examples of how young people’s juvenile court involvement created barriers to college enrollment, meaningful employment, financial independence, stable housing, and military enlistment. State laws vary as to whether juvenile records are publicly available, accessible by certain employers or occupational licensing agencies, and eligible for sealing or expungement, which accounts for the varied outcomes demonstrated by these examples of real youth experiences.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Gault Center Publications, Policy Tool, Resource Library
Tags: Collaboration, Collateral Consequences, School and Special Education