How Many Juvenile Expungements Took Place in Cook County in 2009

There is some confusion about the number of successful expungements of juvenile records in Cook County.  WBEZ’s Inside & Out series about juvenile expungements in Illinois reported that only 95 successful expungements happened in 2009.

This number is disputed by ones that were provided directly from the Clerk of the Court’s office.  Below you can see a chart that illustrates what they say are the successful juvenile expungements over time.

Regardless of the correct number (WBEZs or the Court’s), this is woefully inadequate.  Over 18,000 youth were arrested in Chicago in 2009.  That means that over 18,000 youth in Chicago now have criminal records.  Most of these records would be eligible for expungement.    Yet that process is not keeping up with the need.  We need a systemic response to addressing this issue. A new automatic juvenile expungement law would be the right place to start.

Click on this link to download a copy of the juvenile expungement chart

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