CHICAGO – In their fight against gun violence, Chicago lawmakers are leading the way toward a counterintuitive idea — fighting crime by making it easier for young people to wipe away minor arrest records.
The goal is to give tens of thousands of teens a better chance to find work or get into college, rather than letting a minor episode doom them to a life on gang-dominated streets.
A new law makes Illinois one of the few states to automatically expunge the criminal records of juveniles who were arrested but never charged.
It could help teens like Mariama Bangura, who was arrested last year after she was accused of threatening a teacher. She worries that the incident could sink her ambitions to be a nurse or a massage therapist.