The Evanston Public Library will host a session next month on how people can clear their adult and juvenile criminal records.

The event, called the Expungement Expo, runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the library at 1703 Orrington Ave.

Participants in the session can talk with attorneys about their records, connect with community organizations, and hear presentations about the challenges that criminal record holders face.

One such challenge is the misinformation surrounding the expungement process.

Naria K. Santa Lucia, executive director of the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy in Evanston, misconceptions about criminal records abound.

“People don’t realize that any and all involvement with police or courts—even arrests, juvenile cases, and old cases—stays on their record until they take action to clear it,” she said.

Because involvement with the criminal justice system can severely limit educational, housing, and employment opportunities, many eligible individuals will reap considerable benefits by petitioning to expunge or seal their records.

Although no records will be expunged or sealed at the Expo, attorneys and attorney- supervised law students will review the criminal histories of participants who pre-registered, and help those found eligible to begin the record-clearing process.

To pre-register, learn if you need a RAP sheet, volunteer at the Expo, and more, individuals can visit or call the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy at 847-492-1410 ext. 8 with any questions you may have.

The Northern Cook County Informational Expungement Expo is a collaborative effort of the City of Evanston, the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, the Youth Job Center, National Able Network, Project NIA, and the Office of Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Please note that the

    Please note that the expungement and sealing process is not a process to "legally hide" a criminal record, but a statutory method to expungement or seal an eligible arrest and/or criminal record.  Because many people do not realize that these options are available to them, the partner agencies are hosting this event to inform the public about the expungement and sealing process and assist eligible individuals with clearing their records.

    For more information, please refer to

  2. Wrong direction

    We need to change the law so that names of juvenile are made public.

    So many of them know they can do almost anything and their names not be revealed and even if prosecuted that at 21 they will be released for all but the most repulsive crimes and their records sealed.

    We should have learned by now that only by teaching responsibility will children or adults become responsible adults.

    At a minimum making the names public would alert the public in the neighborhood and town to watch out for these criminals just as you would for sex offenders.

    Let employers and courts [where they are sure to land again] decide if the prior crimes are relevant to hiring/prosecution.

  3. Juvenile offenders

    Experts have said that juveniles are too young to fully understand or appreciate the consequences of their actions. Certain part(s) of the brain that control specific types of behavior are underdeveloped and all that jazz.

    Foolish, I know, but that’s what the experts have been saying for years. So at what age do you think it is appropriate to publicize the name of a child offender? At what age should a child be subject to the same expectations and treatment/punishment that’s reserved for adults? And to lump juvenile offenders with sex offenders or ask their juvenile records be available to future employers…..are you insane?


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