Indiana needs to develop an easy way for children and adults to apply to expunge their juvenile records. A great model comes from our neighbor to the west, Illinois. Expunge.io is reaching out through various social media outlets. The Expunge.io website has an easy menu that leads the person through a series of questions to ascertain whether he or she may qualify for an expungement. The idea sprang from the Mikva Challenge Juvenile Justice Council, a group with the goal of developing “civic leaders, activists, and policy makers by getting young people involved in politics now!”
After using the web app, participants who believe they have a record that could be expunged are directed to the Circuit Court of Cook County (Chicago) Juvenile Expungement Help Desk, which also has a Facebook page: Juvenile Expungement Help Desk for access by the social media savvy. The help desk is operated by LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation) and Cabrini Green Legal Aid.
Given the increasing focus on pro bono service in Indiana and the lack of an organized effort to inform juveniles of the expungement laws and process, this type of program throughout the state would be an ideal project to reduce the long-term, collateral consequences of juvenile adjudications.
For more information on the expungement process in Indiana, see this prior post: Expunging a Juvenile Record.