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Governor Vetoes Bill to Expand Access to Juvenile Court Records

From Channel 3000:

[Gov. Jim Doyle] vetoed a bill that would expand access to juvenile court records for police, judges and social workers.

Current state law considers juvenile court records confidential. Law enforcement officers, judges and prosecutors must request permission from a judge to access them.

The bill would have deemed the records open to any law enforcement officer, judge or district attorney. It also would have opened the records to the state Department of Health and Family Services, county human services departments and licensed child welfare agencies.

Doyle said that the bill is too broad and makes the records available to too many people. He said that juvenile information is sensitive and should be closely guarded.


It seems that current state law may be becoming stricter all around on juvenile delinquency. It is reasoned that, since there is a statistically better chance for juveniles to be rehabilitated than adult offenders, it pays to be tough on them early on as a deterrent.

Whether this theory holds up empirically, is yet to be determined. However, as a juvenile criminal defense attorney, I agree with Gov. Doyle that the bill is too expansive.

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