Code for Boston is a Code for America Brigade – a volunteer civic innovation organization created by Boston-area developers, designers, urban planners, and data geeks with an interest in solving civic and social problems through the use of creative technology.
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There are several initiatives currently underway, such as Expunge MA. How might we ensure individuals are aware of and access their new legal rights to increase confidentiality of their court records?
Juvenile and criminal records impede a young person’s access to housing, education and employment, preventing young people’s positive transition into successful adulthood. CfJJ, in partnership with youth-led organizers, successfully advocated for the creation of an expungement statute to allow individuals the opportunity expunge their juvenile and criminal records for offenses charged when they were younger than 21 year olds. In October 2018, a new law takes effect that allows for the expungement of certain records, but with certain limitations. Unfortunately, though this new right would help many young people move beyond their past transgressions, the eligibility criteria are complicated. Attorney assistance to help individuals screen their eligibility or to provide guidance and resources to take advantage of these new rights is significantly limited.