TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Earlier today, the Florida House passed Senate Bill 274 and Senate Bill 166, which would expunge the nonjudicial arrest records of children who have successfully completed diversion programs for criminal offenses and provide for confidentiality of related arrest records exemption, respectively. Previously, this option was allowed for children who were charged with a first offense misdemeanor, but Senate Bill 274 expands it to include other charges. Senate Bill 166 provides for a public records exemption for nonjudicial arrest records.
This legislation has the support of the Florida No Place for a Child coalition. The legislation already passed the Florida House of Representatives. It will now go to Governor Ron DeSantis.
The following is a statement from Carrie Boyd, policy counsel for the SPLC Action Fund.
“It serves no purpose to have children go into adulthood with criminal records. Numerous studies have shown that a child’s brain is still developing throughout the teen years. They can learn, grow, and become rehabilitated. Under this legislation, the only children who can get their record expunged are those who prosecutors have chosen to keep out of the criminal justice system and put into diversion programs. Those children must then successfully complete the programs. This is common sense and would allow for past mistakes to remain in the past so that children can have clean records when applying for jobs, colleges, loans, or upon entering the military. We call upon Governor DeSantis to sign it into law without delay.”
For a full list of organizations involved in the No Place for a Child coalition, go to https://www.noplaceforachild.com/about-us.