This is a good bill because it protects juveniles that may not be well-informed of the judicial process. Most juvenile records are eligible for expunging after a certain length of time, depending on the details of the case. For those juveniles that are arrested and charged in court, they will be informed of their ability to expunge during the adjudication. Their defense attorneys or the judge will be there to explain when and how the juvenile can expunge the case from her criminal record. But if a juvenile is arrested and released right away, she may not ever speak with an attorney to learn her eligibility. She may not even realize that a record of the arrest is made and kept.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, about 75% of juvenile arrests in Cook County do not result in charges. These juveniles shouldn’t be punished for their cases not being as severe as those for whom a delinquency petition was filed. Otherwise they may only learn of their need for an expungement after a job/opportunity was already lost.