Young people make mistakes everyday - it is part of growing up. Washington State is one of only 8 states in the nation that publishes and distributes juvenile criminal records. They are one of only 3 states that takes it a step further and sells those juvenile criminal records for a profit. This stops our kids from getting jobs and housing when they become adults because employers and landlords run background checks. Essentially, you could get caught shoplifting or fighting at age 12 and it could cost you for the rest of your life! 42 other states already have stopped this practice!
I am writing in support of House Bill 1651. This bill will come before the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee on 3/19 for a hearing. This bill sends a crucial message to juveniles and families across Washington. It shows our kids we believe in them and won’t give up on them even if they make a mistake as a child. Currently, Washington is one of only 8 states that publish juvenile criminal records. We are one of only 3 states that then sell those records for a profit. Meanwhile, our kids whom have finished their sentence are subject to not being able to secure housing, employment or higher education. Once a sentence is complete our kids shouldn’t receive a life sentence of roadblocks and embarrassment while our State makes a profit from their mistakes. As you know – we all make mistakes – some more serious than others. We have all been given second chances – it is part of life. I am urging you to join your 97 colleagues in the House of Representatives and pass this bill. Our kids, our economy, our families and our State are counting on you.
Stop the sale and distribution of juvenile criminal records!