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No significant fiscal implication to the State or units of local government is anticipated.
SB 409 would amend the chapter entitled “Records; Juvenile Justice Information System” located within the Family Code to limit disclosure of confidential juvenile justice records. The exceptions to disclosure would be (1) currently in or completed deferred prosecution, (2) charges dropped, (3) charge is pending final adjudication, or (4) charges found by the juvenile court to be “not true.”
Research indicates that the disclosure of juvenile records has foreseeable unintended “collateral consequences” which adversely impact people's lives for the long term. This bill would promote self-responsibility and self-sufficiency by removing barriers to employment and housing for certain low-level offenders by enabling them to keep their record discreet. This bill would promote the personal responsibility of juvenile offenders to move on with their lives and be more productive members of society.
One of the great barriers to people after their release from the criminal justice system is that, due to the proliferation of background checks as a condition of employment and occupational licensure, many people with a record of even minor infractions from the distant past have great difficulty finding decent paying gainful employment. This leads to a cycle of economic disenfranchisement, poverty, and all too often a return to illicit activity. All of these factors are harmful to the individuals involved and to society at large. This bill seeks to address those issues and affect positive change for people who want to leave their past behind them and be productive members of society.
We support this bill for promoting individual liberty and personal responsibility.