Juvenile Record Confidentiality

Currently, in Michigan, youth who come in contact with law enforcement do not have the protections many assume they do.  Many juvenile court records are accessible to the general public, which may hinder the youth's chance of finding employment, housing, or even getting into college. Although many youth are eventually eligible for sealing the record of their juvenile adjudications, there are significant barriers to completing the process.


MCYJ is advocating for legislation that would ensure that youth are not defined by their past mistakes, so they can grow into their full potential and become contributing members of their community. 

What is record confidentiality?

Most people presume juvenile records are confidential. That is, no one but the courts and the child's parents are able to access the record. Unfortunately, this isn't true.

In Michigan, youth records are available upon request from the adjudicating court. That means that anyone who wishes to could see the youth's record. In addition to records being publicly available, in some courts in Michigan, the youth's court hearing information (date, time, and location) are available online. While most publications don't include a youth's name, this is still a serious concern. 

Legislative Overview

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Current Set Aside Legislation
Current Record Confidentiality Legislation
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Proposed Legislation on Record Confidentiality


Overview of Proposed and Current Legislation

Michigan Juvenile Records Factsheet (Juvenile Law Center)

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©2020 by Michigan Center for Youth Justice

1679 Broadway Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48105