Senate approves bill concerning juvenile records

OLYMPIA — A bill that makes it easier to seal juvenile criminal records after the age of 18, except for the most serious offenses, has passed the Senate.

House Bill 1651 requires that all terms of the sentence must be completed prior to sealing. The measure now heads to the House for a concurrence vote because it was amended in the Senate. The Senate and House must come to agreement on the different versions of the bill before any measure could go to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

The bill is a result of a deal struck between judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, police and others.

Washington is among the few states that does not have juvenile records covered by confidentiality. Since 1977, juvenile offender records have been public unless sealed in accordance with statutory requirements. Non-criminal juvenile records, such as those in a dependency matter or adoption, are not open to the public.

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