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Legislature OKs bill to restrict juvenile records

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A bill that would restrict who can access juvenile criminal records has passed the Legislature and now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

Passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate Friday, House Bill 1651 would keep juvenile offender records confidential unless a juvenile has been convicted of certain serious and violent offenses, including a sex offense for which registration is required. The measure unanimously passed the House last month.

Also under the measure, confidential juvenile offender records could not be published, distributed or sold.

Washington is among eight states that does not have juvenile records covered by confidentiality and is one of three states that sell those juvenile records. 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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