I testified in support of Senate Bill 368 because it ends many harmful practices in our youth justice system. It passed out of the Senate, but now it has to pass in the House to become law. I really hope this bill passes because I know how hard it is for youth to overcome past run-ins with the justice system and because I don’t believe children belong in adult jails.
I got into trouble as a minor and when I learned my juvenile record wouldn’t be expunged, it felt like a shadow following me. I didn’t feel like I had control of my future, and I made another mistake a week before my juvenile case was set to end. I don’t want to see kids in this situation and believe youth records should be automatically expunged.
Because I got into trouble again, I have since spent some time in an adult facility, and it is not a good environment for a kid. I was almost waived into adult court when I got my juvenile case, and knowing what it is like now, I am glad that I wasn’t. In an adult jail, there are a lot of bigger guys, more aggressive guys, and fights. Meals aren’t healthy and hygiene isn’t always good. Kids just don’t belong there. Passing this bill would mean kids don’t have to go through that.
Kids can go back and get their degrees, they can become positive for our communities if we make sure the system is set up to allow it. Passing this bill is a really good step to making that happen. Please join me and email key House members. Ask them to pass Senate Bill 368.