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Mayor Emanuel today joined State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Representative Arthur Turner and community leaders to announce the passage of legislation to expunge certain juvenile arrest records automatically, removing a major hurdle that prevents many Chicago youth from qualifying for jobs and college scholarships.
“Our young people should not be held back by a mistake in their past,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Automatically expunging these records will help make sure we’re putting young people on a path to prosperity giving them an even playing field and equal shot at accessing education, financial aid, housing, and employment.”
Starting in 2015, SB978 sponsored by Senator Raoul and Representative Turner will require the Illinois State Police to automatically expunge annually all juvenile arrest records that meet the following conditions:
• The minor was arrested and no petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of the circuit court
• At least 6 months have passed since the date of the arrest and there have been no other arrests during that period
• Record is electronically stored in the ISP database
• Arrest was not for a Class 2 or higher felony offense or a sex offense
• Arrest occurred on January 1, 2015
"This legislation is a great first step to helping young people and getting them on the right track for their future." State Representative Arthur Turner
“Expungement of juvenile arrest records will ensure young adults are not tied to past mistakes as they move into responsible adulthood." State Senator Kwame Raoul
This bill would have applied to thousands of youth arrests in Chicago in 2013 alone. Additionally, a new process will be established so that individuals may request to have multiple juvenile arrest and law enforcement records expunged on a single petition.