Do You Believe in Second Chances?

Jay Blitzman First Justice, Massachusetts Juvenile Court

Jay Blitzman
First Justice, Massachusetts Juvenile Court

That is the most commonly asked question I receive when I speak to students as part of judicial-school outreach. My answer is always the same: “Yes.” I believe anyone who works with adolescents or has ever been a parent would provide the same response.

The concept of second chances is implicated in the debate concerning when or if it is appropriate to expunge a juvenile or criminal court record. The subject was addressed in a Juvenile Law Center study, Failed Policies, Forfeited Futures: A Nationwide Scorecard on Juvenile Records, which analyzes how states protect individuals’ records during and after their involvement with the juvenile justice system.

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