Contrary to the philosophy of the juvenile court, it is undoubtedly a rare occasion when a child benefits from his exposure to the juvenile court system. Even when a child is actually rehabilitated by the process, the invidious effects that flow from being labeled a "juvenile delinquent" may serve to negate any benefit that he may have received. Perhaps the most unjustifiable of all side effects is the stigma that attaches to a child who has been arrested and subsequently either released without prosecution or acquitted. In a society that espouses the idea that an individual is innocent until proven guilty, he will be treated as though his arrest were synonymous with guilt. On applications for future employment and for admission into educational institutions, he may be asked for information about past arrests without regard to the disposition of those arrests. Clearly this information could only be viewed in an unfavorable light.
Adrienne Volenik, Expungement of Arrest Records, 9 Clearinghouse Rev. 23 (1975).