Most people assume that juvenile court records are private, but that's not always the case. Kyle Lewis recently found out that his juvenile record was mistakenly displayed on the state court website. I wrote about his situation in Saturday's paper.
State officials said Lewis' record should have been private because he was 15 at the time of his offense, but the law isn't always that clear. When an offender is 16 or 17 and charged with a felony, the record becomes public, even if the charge is later dropped to a misdemeanor. Mark Haase, who used to work with the Council on Crime and Justice, advocated for a change to the law last legislative session. Haase now works with 180 Degrees, which also focuses on issues affecting ex-offenders.