Council of State Governments reports on barriers for people with juvenile criminal records

Council of State Governments reports on barriers for people with juvenile criminal records

The Council of State Governments recently published “Reducing Structural Barriers to School and Work for People with Juvenile Records,” an 18-page report that explores the struggles faced by millions of former juvenile offenders in finding education and employment later in life due to state laws and public and private hiring and admissions practices.

While in recent years many states have worked to limit restrictions related to education and employment for people with adult criminal records, few have devoted similar energy to addressing how these “collateral consequences” affect individuals with juvenile records, a group that also disproportionally consists of people of color due to racial disparities in the rates of juvenile justice involvement.

Conducted by the CSG Justice Center, this study represents an unprecedented analysis of policies and practices in 12 states; findings were used to develop guidance for policymakers to establish reform. Recommendations include establishing state laws that clearly distinguish juvenile adjudications from criminal convictions and preventing prospective employers and postsecondary institutions from considering adjudications in decision-making.

Others include making juvenile arrest and court records confidential, with exceptions for public safety; ensuring state governments and postsecondary institutions’ record clearance processes are universal, automatic and free; and informing juvenile offenders about the consequences of an adjudication and their rights and obligations regarding record clearance and disclosure.

View the full “Reducing Structural Barriers” report.

GEO Reentry Services’ Juvenile Reentry Services offers evidence-based programming in residential and non-residential settings for juveniles involved in the justice system. These highly structured programs encourage cognitive skill-building and address individual risk while involving families in treatment. Participants adopt positive habits and curb problematic behaviors, ultimately improving their odds of success upon reentry.

GEO Reentry also provides evidence-based treatment and supervision for adult probationers, parolees and pretrial defendants. Explore all GEO Reentry programming.