HB 60: Juvenile Justice Modifications
HB 60 gives juvenile offenders more opportunities to move forward after youthful mistakes.
In 2017, Utah passed HB 156, which prevented state employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record on an initial job application. Given that the government is the largest employer in the state, this bill has given many former offenders the opportunity to interview and be considered for a job rather than being written off immediately.
Now, Representative Cheryl Acton’s legislation extends that same opportunity to people who committed offenses when they were minors and have a juvenile record. Given that a job can be a powerful source of stability and purpose, this bill puts young people with juvenile records back on the path to being productive citizens.
This bill also addresses expungement of juvenile records. In recent years, Utah has passed several bills to make the expungement process more just and efficient. However, these efforts have not addressed the expungement of juvenile records. HB 60 fills this gap. It allows people who are now adults to petition the court for expungement if it has been at least a year since their case was terminated. Victims and prosecutors have the opportunity to be heard if they have concerns about the expungement. The court will then consider a number of factors including the person’s response to treatment, the seriousness of his offense, and his subsequent behavior.
In addition to this expungement process, the bill also automates expungement for minor crimes that were handled non judicially or in which there was an arrest or investigation but no adjudication.
The decisions one makes as a teenager set the stage for the rest of a person’s life. This bill puts former juvenile offenders on the best footing to be successful adults.