The purpose of Minnesota's juvenile justice system is to protect public safety while recognizing that children are different than adults; they are less culpable for their actions, and possess a greater capacity to change their behavior as they mature into adults. Current laws, policies and practices in Minnesota sometimes fall short of that ideal; leading legal practitioners, policymakers and parents alike to voice concerns that Minnesota's juvenile record policies unnecessarily limit opportunities for youths' personal and social growth.
The report outlines how juvenile records are created, maintained, and accessed; it describes when juvenile records are public and when they are private; and it both identifies and defines the many collateral consequences – legal disabilities and practice barriers – that an individual with a juvenile record may face as they grow into adulthood. These collateral consequences often severely limit a youths' ability to access employment, higher education, and housing; sometimes long after an individual's time in juvenile court is complete.
The report was created by the Council on Crime and Justice with input from professionals in the field, and funded by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act through the Minnesota Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs.
The Council on Crime and Justice is a Minneapolis based nonprofit organization that seeks a criminal justice system that is equitable and just, treats people with compassion and dignity, and allows for second chances, creating a safe and thriving community. The goals of the Council include eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system; identifying and reducing the collateral consequences of a criminal record; and advocating for strong individual and systemic response to victim of crime.
A copy of the report is available on the Minnesota Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee website: https://dps.mn.gov/entity/jjac/Documents/Juvenile%20Records%20in%20Minnesota.pdf