[2017 Session] Improve the Juvenile Record Sealing Process and Limit Access to Juvenile Records

Policy Background:

Youth who have been through the juvenile court system must have their privacy protected; this is a critical component of their rehabilitation. Indeed, significant barriers to education, employment, housing, and other services can stem from a juvenile delinquency record or from the unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential records.

Texas policy-makers should require juvenile records to be automatically sealed unless the prosecutor moves to have it unsealed.

Key Facts:

  • Most juvenile records are fully open to employers, landlords, and schools because they are not on “restricted access.” This can negatively impact a person’s ability to attend school or access jobs and housing.
  • Low-level youthful offenses seldom lead to serious crimes. A tracking study by Texas’ Legislative Budget Board revealed that only 1.8% of youth who entered deferred prosecution in 2011 were incarcerated in the following three years.1

Relevant Bills:

Other Bills Related to Juvenile Records:

Other Materials:

1 Legislative Budget Board, Statewide Criminal and Juvenile Justice Recidivism and Revocation Rates, February 2015, p. 3.

The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is now the Texas Center for Justice and Equity! Learn More