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How Criminal Background Checks Affect Teen Convicted Felons

The governor of New York recently issued one of the first pardons in the state for those convicted for non-violent crimes at age 16 or 17. The program is for those who have stayed conviction-free for at least 10 years following their teenage arrest. Often, the individuals face discrimination in job searches and educational applications. Several states have raised the adult age of “criminal responsibility” to 18, after studies revealed that adolescent brains are still developing in their 20s. A 2014 study revealed that, although 95 percent of youth crimes are non-violent, the protection of juvenile records varies from state to state, from sealing to expungement.

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