Statement by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle On the Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act Becoming Law

August 24, 2017

With the governor’s signature today, the Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act (HB 3817/SB 2021), our latest effort at reforming and modernizing juvenile justice, is now law. This is an important step in removing barriers from the paths of our most vulnerable youth as they try to build productive lives by easing the often cumbersome process of expunging juvenile arrest records. It is time we recognize that the arrest records of young people who have made minor mistakes can serve as impediments to their future growth and development, and even create obstacles to such basics as finding housing and employment as they get older. I am grateful to Sen. Mike Hastings and Rep. Elaine Nekritz for their advocacy on this measure, which continues our efforts to reform antiquated and damaging juvenile justice laws.