House committee measure would lighten juvenile crime record


The state House Judiciary Committee met Wednesday in Lansing while the Legislature continues its two-week spring break. The lawmakers approved a measure that would require juvenile fingerprints and arrest cards to be thrown out in certain circumstances.

The fingerprints and arrest records of juveniles would be thrown out if they complete a probationary period that dismisses the case.

Michelle Weemhoff is with the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency. She says some of the records could hurt the chances of kids finding work or housing, or entering the military. And she says throwing out the fingerprints helps with their rehabilitation.

"We shouldn't create barriers for kids who've proven to the court that they want to succeed," she says. "If a judge dismisses a petition, it stands to reason that the arrest card and the fingerprints are immediately destroyed."

The bill was approved easily by the committee and now moves to the House floor.