The juvenile justice system is much different from the adult system. The focus of the juvenile system is rehabilitation and helping kids to fix whatever has gone wrong in their lives that led them down a bad path. The law assumes a child can change and move on past their juvenile issues to live a productive life as an adult.
The State of Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice explains juvenile records are confidential to protect the youth and to allow them to move forward in life without juvenile issues plaguing them.
Important note about record contents
A juvenile record not only includes information about the child’s criminal history but also it will include social history. It can have some sensitive and personal information. The law observes this as something that should be kept quiet and private, which is part of the reason why these records are not available to the public.
The law does provide exceptions to allow agencies, organizations and other interested parties access to juvenile records when allowing it would benefit the child. For example, a social services organization may need the records to help better place the child in foster care.
Release of information
For the release of information, there are strict rules. The person or entity requesting the information must have the legal authority to do so. This may be under the law or through a court order. In addition, the release of the record must occur carefully to ensure there is no public leak of information.
A person may be able to have his or her juvenile record expunged or cleared once he or she reaches the age of 17. This would allow the prevention of an accidental leak of information as an adult.