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Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

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Unsealed Fate: The unintended consequences of inadequate safeguarding of juvenile records in Maine

University of Southern Maine


Since 1919, when the state’s juvenile delinquency code was enacted, Maine’s justice system has recognized the difference between youth and adults by emphasizing treatment and rehabilitation for young people in the justice system. This approach is supported by a large and growing body of adolescent development and brain science research that finds fundamental, biologically-based differences between youth and adults. If the goal of a separate justice system for youth is to provide the tools and opportunities for young people to change, it is antithetical that the very involvement with the system could create unanticipated, lasting consequences.

Unfortunately, studies across the country are finding just that; limited safeguarding of juvenile records stemming from involvement in the juvenile justice system puts individuals at risk of facing collateral consequences, including difficulty obtaining employment and housing or serving in the military. This report explores the extent to which this issue is occurring in Maine by detailing what statutes say, what practices look like and what the implications are for individuals in Maine with a juvenile record. The goal of this report is to provide policy makers, the public and juvenile justice system practitioners with research about what those closest to the system understand about how records are handled and accessed, the impact of juvenile records and what improvements could be made that are consistent with the rehabilitative and public safety goals of the juvenile justice system in Maine.

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North America - United States

Year Language

2017 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Report


Justice, Juvenile, Minors, Protection


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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

    All rights reserved

  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org