The juvenile justice system acknowledges that children who break the law should be treated differently than adults, with a greater emphasis on rehabilitation, and that forcing them to carry the burden of a public criminal record for childhood mistakes serves neither them nor the community.
The records of children caught up in the juvenile justice system can be expunged or sealed, or entered into the public record as an adjudication when the offender reaches the age of majority.
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The Adam Walsh Act requires all states to include in their online registries offenders who were 14 or older at the time they committed specified offenses, or risk the loss of federal funding for law enforcement resources. Paul pled guilty in adult court to one count of criminal sexual conduct with a child under 13. Paul has been through an intensive sex offender treatment program.
Child offenders are not exempt from state and municipal residency restrictions; even while children they can be prohibited from living with their families in restricted areas. He is in group therapy and is in individual counseling.
Lacy J., a mother of a 13-year-old convicted as an adult for having sexual contact with his five-year-old cousin, speaking before a panel of Arizona state legislators He knows nothing about sex.
There is no way to explain [the accusation of sexual harassment] to him.
State sex offender registration laws, however, can trump juvenile offender laws.