Washington State Passes Law Sealing Juvenile Records

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A measure restricting access to juvenile records passed the Washington state Legislature Wednesday,

As JJIE reported March 6, the bill, HB 1651, restricts access to all juvenile records except the worst felony offenses, such as violent crimes and sexual assaults.

Prior to passage of the law juvenile records could only be sealed after a lengthy and complicated process. However, even if the court sealed the records, private consumer reporting companies could still purchase state data files that included information from juvenile records.

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Ryan Schill

Ryan Schill is the editor of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. In 2012 he wrote a comics journalism piece about the ongoing U.S. immigration debate, published in partnership with Cartoon Movement. His 2011 story about a case of misdiagnosed child abuse won first place in the non-deadline writing category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Ryan is completing his MA in professional writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a BS in media studies. His research interests include experimental journalism forms, journalism ethics and philosophy, theories of literary journalism and the intersections of social justice and journalism.