WBEZ | juvenile arrests http://www.wbez.org/tags/juvenile-arrests Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Why is it so hard to expunge juvenile records in Cook County? http://www.wbez.org/news/why-it-so-hard-expunge-juvenile-records-cook-county-105257 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Youth%20arrest.jpg" style="height: 423px; width: 620px;" title="File: Chicago police officer arresting a juvenile. (Carlos Javier Ortiz/WBEZ)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77582864%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-n2ukB&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Thousands of kids get arrested each year at school in Chicago, and that might not be news to you.&nbsp;</p><p>But what might be surprising are what can be long-term consequences of juvenile arrests, even for comparatively minor offenses.&nbsp;</p><p>And how hard it can be for a young person to get out from under an early and damaging mistake.</p><p>We talked with one young woman about just such a story.</p><p>We&rsquo;re calling her Laura to protect her privacy.&nbsp; Laura&rsquo;s&nbsp; mom is a respiratory therapist, and a single parent. After she immigrated to this country she attended nursing school, but wasn&rsquo;t able to finish.&nbsp; When Laura was 12,&nbsp; she&rsquo;d help her mom study and she remembers that the material was &ldquo;really rigorous, like <em>really</em> tough.&rdquo;</p><p>At the same time it was super interesting to her. Laura says she knew <em>even then</em>, that her profession would involve working with people.&nbsp; And by the time she was 21, she&rsquo;d passed her board exams to become a registered nurse.&nbsp; Now she was just waiting for that envelope.</p><p>&ldquo;So we got the letter and we were just so excited. It was like. Okay. We got the license! We got the license!&rdquo; she recalls.&nbsp;</p><p>Turns out, it wasn&rsquo;t a license. It was a letter. From the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.</p><p>&ldquo;So I was reading the letter and basically it said that I was prohibited, like it was in bold &ndash; prohibited from practice. And I&rsquo;m like, whaaat?&rdquo;</p><p>The letter gave a date when Laura was in elementary school.&nbsp; A date when she&rsquo;d been charged with battery and bodily harm. Laura&rsquo;s thinking, <em>nooo</em>. But then she had a dim recollection from way back in 8<sup>th</sup> grade.</p><p>&ldquo;And basically we were fighting, police were around the corner,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;They came and picked us up. They didn&rsquo;t even put us in handcuffs, they just put us in the car, took us to the police station and had us cool off in different rooms. And we got our fingerprints done.&rdquo; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Laura had what&rsquo;s called an <em>informal </em>&ldquo;station adjustment,&rdquo; informal because there was no admission of guilt. The incident is resolved right there. It isn&rsquo;t referred to the state&rsquo;s attorney&rsquo;s office, the young person doesn&rsquo;t even <em>go</em> to court.</p><p>But what Laura didn&rsquo;t understand at the time, and her mother apparently didn&rsquo;t understand, is that when she left that station, Laura had an arrest record.</p><p>Eugene Roy, commander of youth investigations for the Chicago Police Department, isn&rsquo;t surprised: &ldquo;Absolutely.&nbsp; If somebody is arrested - there is an arrest record.&rdquo;</p><p>He says if the child is older than 10 years of age and the offense is either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, that child is photographed and fingerprinted.</p><p>To get that license to become a registered nurse Laura had to first have fingerprints taken for a criminal background check. That&rsquo;s where things got sticky. The FBI notified the licensing board in Illinois of Laura&rsquo;s early arrest, something Laura says she &ldquo;just <em>never</em> expected to happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Laura was arrested in &lsquo;04. By 2010 the law in Illinois had changed. Since then juvenile records are no longer sent from the state police to the FBI, which is the agency that dispenses information for criminal background checks.</p><p>However.&nbsp; Here&rsquo;s the problem:&nbsp; About ten years earlier a <em>different</em> state law permitted local police departments to send juvenile arrest data to the Illinois State Police&mdash;and <em>they</em> routinely forwarded it to the FBI.</p><p>In that decade, well over 170, 000 young people, 17 and under, were arrested in Cook County at least one time. It&rsquo;s anybody&rsquo;s guess how many of those records were forwarded to the Illinois State Police and ultimately the FBI.</p><p>Just like Laura, all those young people have been exposed to the possibility that a long-ago record could suddenly pop up in their lives. In a very negative way.</p><p>Mariame Kaba is the head of Project NIA, a grassroots group that works to reduce youth incarceration.&nbsp; &ldquo;I mean this to me is infuriating. And it&rsquo;s wrong. And it&rsquo;s unfair,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>Kaba&rsquo;s a friend of Laura&rsquo;s, and is the person Laura called when she first got that letter and panicked. Together, they gathered certified court documents and statements to answer the licensing agency&rsquo;s questions about the circumstances of Laura&rsquo;s arrest.</p><p>They made their case and today Laura is working as a nurse at a hospital right here in Chicago.</p><p>Just to be sure this <em>doesn&rsquo;t happen again</em>, they also expunged-- or cleared -- Laura&rsquo;s record.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know many 20 year olds or 21 year olds who are going to be able to navigate this process on their own. The process is very difficult,&rdquo; Kaba says.</p><p>The first step is to retrieve the arrest history report from the agency that made the arrest in the first place, though she adds:&nbsp; &ldquo;But the police. Like, that&rsquo;s like a big entity. And many young people are <em>fearful </em>of the police.&rdquo;</p><p>And retrieving the arrest report is just the beginning.</p><p>Then you have to figure out the right court forms to fill out and file a petition to expunge.</p><p>Then get the forms to the Clerk of the Court&rsquo;s office.</p><p>Then wait. And maybe have a hearing.</p><p>Then if expungement is granted, pay $124 for every arrest. If you do it all correctly, the whole process can take two to three months.&nbsp;</p><p>It upsets Kaba that people have to go through this.</p><p>&ldquo;This tells you something about what we mean when we talk about the &ldquo;school to prison pipeline,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;The fact that schools are calling the police on young people, arresting them directly from school. Those young people go to the precinct. The precinct says: &lsquo;It&rsquo;s not a big deal.&rsquo; And that is the record that is following her now? What are we doing? We&rsquo;re actually making it much harder for those young people to be productive citizens later on.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>So what&rsquo;s the solution?</strong></p><p>Kaba says, &ldquo;The short version is, first and foremost, you should be able to expunge your record immediately. Okay, so you get arrested and nothing happens after that &ndash; you have a mere arrest? You should be able to expunge at any point in your juvenile career.&rdquo;</p><p>The way the law is now, even for an arrest with no conviction, a kid has to wait until 17 to try to clear a record.</p><p>If it&rsquo;s a more serious arrest where a judge declares a kid &ldquo;delinquent&rdquo; a young person usually has to wait until turning 21, or beyond, before a record can be expunged.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s an interesting statistic: About 40 percent of all youth arrested in Cook County <em>never get sent to court. </em>The kid was never charged, never stood before a judge &ndash;Kaba wants <em>automatic </em>expungement of those kind of arrests as soon as young people turn 18.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re willing to accept that if you had a conviction then you&rsquo;d have to go through the regular process of doing an expungement. Fine. But for a mere arrest? Get rid of that.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, you&rsquo;d think there&rsquo;d be an awful lot of people lined up to expunge their juvenile records.</p><p>But, as it turns out, the juvenile expungement numbers around here are <em>grim.</em></p><p>In 2011, almost 17,000 juveniles got arrested in Cook County. Just about enough to fill the Allstate arena in Rosemont. And because some kids get arrested multiple times, the number of <em>arrests</em> was more like 30,000.</p><p>So!&nbsp; Thirty thousand juvenile arrests.&nbsp; Guess how many juvenile expungements ? Wrong. Guess again. No. The actual number?&nbsp; 67.</p><p>2012 wasn&rsquo;t much better: Over 25,000 juvenile arrests in Cook County . The number of juvenile expungements last year? 70.</p><p><strong>Why so few?</strong></p><p>Cost is part of it. And the hassle of gathering records. But also, people who follow this tell us, the process is so complicated, so daunting -- people start, but never make it to the finish line.</p><p>Kaba&rsquo;s group and others drafted legislation about a year ago to make it easier for a young person to expunge his record if he&rsquo;s been arrested, but hasn&rsquo;t been convicted.&nbsp;</p><p>The chief opponent was the office of Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The bill died in a Senate committee last spring.</p><p>WBEZ wanted to ask the State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s office about their views on juvenile expungement. But a spokesman declined, saying that if a specific expungement proposal makes its way through the legislature in the future, they&rsquo;d reconsider talking with us.</p><h2><strong>Cook County Juvenile Arrests and Expungements</strong></h2><p>&nbsp;<img src="https://docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0AmeeIak9d5GydFlvUDQ1NW13dkVQQlRqQnZNZzd4eEE&amp;oid=3&amp;zx=wjbaphcraftx" style="height: 223px; width: 620px;" title="Sources: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. See disclaimer below " /></p><p><em style="font-size: 11px;">Sources:&nbsp; Office of the State Appellate Defender and Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County*&nbsp;</em></p><p><em style="font-size: 11px;">Broken down by year, this chart shows the number of juvenile arrests in Cook County, the number of expungements (see definition <a href="http://www.state.il.us/defender/juv_exp_FAQ.html">here</a>) requested for juvenile records and the number of expungements granted.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Note 1: Expungements are recorded in the year that they are granted, not the year of the offense.<br />Note 2: As of Jan 1, 2010, 17 year olds in Illinois arrested for misdemeanor offenses are considered juveniles, not adults<br />Note 3: For an <a href="http://www.state.il.us/defender/juv_exp_qualify.html">explanation</a> of which juvenile records are eligible for expungement, see website of the Office of the State Appellate Defender.&nbsp;</em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em><strong>*</strong>General Data Dissemination Disclaimer by Clerk of Circuit Court:</em> <em>The information provided is a custom produced summary of the electronic court record that is maintained by the Clerk of the Circuit Court for internal and administrative purposes, from the paper documents with an understanding that the information is true and correct in as far as all aspects of the documents physically filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The official court records are held and maintained in the hard copy paper files in the courthouse or other official Clerk&rsquo;s repositories.&nbsp; The Clerk diligently strives to maintain accurate, complete and timely data in its electronic databases but shall not be liable for any consequential, exemplary, incidental or special damages arising from or in connection with data or information produced in response to the request for custom programming. However, because of the many variables involved in producing customized electronic data reports, users should not cite the provided information as an official or authoritative source and are advised to independently verify all information.&nbsp;&nbsp; All Users are advised to independently verify any information or data obtained with official court information reposing in the court files (i.e., pleadings, orders, half sheets, file jackets and the contents thereof, etc.). </em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-it-so-hard-expunge-juvenile-records-cook-county-105257 Advocates say disproportionate number of black kids arrested at Chicago schools http://www.wbez.org/story/advocates-say-disproportionate-number-black-kids-arrested-chicago-schools-95794 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-25/848_20100915c_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>If you look at all Chicago arrests of juveniles in 2010, a fifth occurred on Chicago Public Schools property. That’s way too many arrests, according to a <a href="http://policeincps.com">report out from Project NIA</a>, a Chicago-based advocacy group that works against incarceration of kids.&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago police department data that NIA crunched found 5,574 juvenile arrests on CPS property in 2010.</p><p>Of those arrests, about three-quarters involved African-American youth, even though black students comprise 45 percent of the school population.</p><p>The researchers found about a third of all arrests were for simple battery. The next highest categories were drug abuse violations and disorderly conduct.</p><p>Project NIA’s report calls for CPS to “redirect resources away from policing” and says CPS should beef up so-called restorative justice programs, which can help resolve problems before the police become involved.</p><p>In a statement, CPS said it will be reviewing the report, and getting feedback on ways to provide safe environments for students at all schools. &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 26 Jan 2012 02:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/advocates-say-disproportionate-number-black-kids-arrested-chicago-schools-95794 Where juveniles get arrested can matter as much as why in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/where-juveniles-get-arrested-can-matter-much-why-illinois-85332 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/Randell-Strickland-2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Every year thousands of kids are arrested in Illinois. When that happens the state collects lots of information about them: Not just their fingerprints but their age, race or ethnic background.</p><p>Experts say that sharing accurate information across jurisdictions is a serious problem and well-intentioned efforts to keep young people out of trouble may do more harm than good. WBEZ's Bill Healy provided a report.<br> <br> <br> If you’re a kid in Illinois - where you get arrested can be as important as why you get arrested.<br> Illinois has about a thousand police departments — in big cities, suburbs and small towns.<br> <br> State law says that every day these agencies are supposed to let the state police know who broke the law - including young people.<br> But WBEZ has found there’s a lot of variation in which crimes, and kids, are reported to the state.<br> <br> Burbank is a southwest suburb of Chicago. About 25,000 people live here. Captain Joe Ford has been with the Burbank Police for almost thirty years. Ford says most juvenile crimes are minor.<br> <br> FORD: Typically retail theft along our Cicero Avenue shopping corridor. But also some fighting - some battery reports.<br> <br> In Burbank the cops write down the kid’s date of birth, race and what they did to get in trouble. In many cases they’ll take fingerprints too. If the crime is serious, Burbank police submit all that information electronically to the Illinois State Police. Tammi Kestel is with the state police unit that gets that data.<br> <br> KESTEL: Eighty-two percent, 80-some percent submit the arrest records electronically, over a Livescan device, which is paperless. They take the subject and put their fingers on a glass platen, push a button and send us the demographic data and fingerprints images electronically. The remaining 20 percent actually send in a physical arrest fingerprint card to us in the mail.<br> Once a kid’s information is in the system, it’s hard to get it out.<br> <br> And a juvenile record can follow a kid for a lifetime. It’s a big reason why where a kid gets arrested matters. In Chicago, police say anytime a kid gets arrested they report it to the state.<br> <br> But what about outside Chicago?<br> <br> WBEZ did an informal survey of about a dozen suburban police departments to see how they handle crime reporting. And for minor offenses—it’s a mixed bag.<br> <br> FORD: Say it’s a retail theft.<br> <br> Here’s Burbank’s Captain Ford.<br> <br> FORD: If they’re observed stealing something, and there’s evidence to prove that they stole something the officer gets called and investigates. At that point he makes a decision at what level to charge. In the city of Burbank – as in most cities - we have ordinances that we can charge for petty theft.<br> <br> It’s much the same in south suburban Flossmoor. There – if a kid gets in a fight - he could be charged with disorderly conduct and battery – local ordinance violations that don’t require fingerprints.<br> <br> But even if police departments decide that a misdemeanor is warranted, there’s room for discretion.<br> Again Captain Ford:<br> <br> FORD: The state requires certain charges to be submitted to them. Any felony is automatically submitted. Misdemeanors-Class A misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors-can be submitted to the state. Some cases are never submitted to the state.&nbsp;<br> That’s because in Illinois it’s optional for local police to send certain misdemeanors to the state.<br> <br> In Winnetka - on the North Shore - police tell us they consider all sorts of things before sending a misdemeanor up the ladder. Is this the kid’s first offense? Does he show remorse? Is the behavior seriously anti-social?<br> <br> Burbank’s Captain Ford says discretion helps local cops protect kids.<br> <br> FORD: The object of the juvenile justice system is to keep juvenile offenders out of the system, to keep the one-time-made-a-mistake juvenile offender from getting branded as a delinquent.<br> <br> It’s a sentiment that juvenile justice expert Randell Strickland agrees with. He works with the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change program.<br> <br> But Strickland says inconsistencies in reporting juvenile arrests can cause other problems.<br> <br> STRICKLAND: For policy, practice, programming, services, we need to know who’s being arrested, how often, by whom, under what circumstances, for what reasons, where, all of those things.<br> <br> Without meaningful data – he says - you have an incomplete picture.<br> <br> If the state gets all Chicago’s misdemeanor reports – for example – and only some from crimes in other cities, it skews data and perceptions.<br> <br> STRICKLAND: Cause otherwise: How do you plan for interventions? How do you change policies? How do you change practices? How do you improve responses to young people if you don’t know what they’re doing and where they’re doing it and when they’re doing it?<br> A better way, says Strickland, would be for local police to capture every arrest.<br> <br> Police could share the race and gender of the kids, the crimes they commit and even where the arrests took place.<br> <br> But – says Strickland – for misdemeanors, their names and fingerprints could be kept private.<br> <br> That way we’d get a clearer picture of who is being arrested and where –with more long-term protection for juveniles.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 14:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/where-juveniles-get-arrested-can-matter-much-why-illinois-85332