this needs to change

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In high school and shortly after, I made some poor decisions. But that was in the 80’s when police officers just talked with you and no charges were filed leading to a devestating criminal record. I was underage drinking, shoplifting, stealing, selling pot, and using fake ID’s. Fortunately, I grew out of that to put myself through college and earned a Master’s degree. If I had a criminal record from that, I would never have been able to serve in my current position helping others as a social worker. I have been able to make peace with my poor decisions by realizing that my brain wasn’t fully developed. But today’s justice system doesn’t recognize this and still one ends up with a criminal record. I have seen the long lasting and debilitating affects this has on a person economically, personally, and socially. This needs to change.