Advocates for children should be catalysts for change.
Juvenile Record Sealing Project
Find juvenile record sealing resources here
The Juvenile Record Sealing Project is a collaboration between TeamChild, Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington (SYLAW), Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons (SCRAP), and Northwest Justice Project (NJP). TeamChild began managing the project in 2011 when SYLAW shifted to being a fully volunteer-run program. The Project aims to increase the availability of information and resources to assist individuals in sealing their juvenile criminal history.
In Washington State, juvenile criminal history is publicly available. Many young people are under the misconception that their juvenile criminal history will be automatically destroyed or sealed on their 18th birthday. In fact, almost all juvenile records remain open for the public to view. While many people are eligible to have their juvenile records sealed under Washington's current laws, they do not have the knowledge or tools to accomplish it. The negative consequences of a juvenile criminal record may include ineligibility for loans, financing or public benefits, denial of housing, and difficulties accessing education and employment.
TeamChild is working with community partners to make record sealing information more accessible to youth and adults. Thanks to funding from Social Venture Kids, these resources have been updated and are easier to use. The Project also holds pro se record sealing clinics in King County. Record sealing clinics are also available in Spokane county, thanks to a partnership with the Thomas More Program at Gonzaga Law School. Find resources and information about the clinics here. We are also working with others to develop clinics in other parts of the state.