It is well established that adults who have criminal records face a multitude of challenges from finding employment, to long-term decreased earnings, and even civil disenfranchisement such as the loss of the right to vote. It is a lesser known fact that many youth in America likewise find their life opportunities limited by a criminal record long before they have even experienced much life at all. Confidentiality laws that historically protected the records of young people processed in the juvenile courts have eroded in favor of increased transparency and access to information policies while expanded transfer mechanisms have led to an ever growing number of youth saddled with adult convictions as well. As a result, many youth achieve the status of “criminal” before they have even reached puberty. In this chapter we present the history and theoretical rationale behind the original policies that kept juvenile offenders’ records confidential and allowed for second chances. We then explore the social and political influences that have led to the demise of these policies and the multitude of immediate and long-term consequences for youth including the labeling of the youth and the reduction in social bonds, limited education and employment opportunities, and even consequences for the young person’s family, such as restrictions on access to public housing benefits. We end with a discussion of identified best practices and suggested policy directions for the future.