161 Kids and the Law • combine those sentences by committing the youthful offender to DYS until age 21 and giving a suspended adult sentence. If the youthful offender suc- cessfully completes the term of probation and the DYS commitment, the case is concluded. If the youthful offender does not successfully complete the term of probation, the youthful offender can be sentenced to an adult facility. Probation can extend beyond age 21. Juveniles under the age of 21 shall not be placed in a facility where they can have contact with adult inmates. How does the court make its sentencing decision? The court holds a sentencing hearing to decide how the public’s present and long-term safety can best be protected. The court must consider all of the fol- lowing: • The seriousness and circumstances of the offense. • The youthful offender’s age, maturity, and history. • The youthful offender’s previous court and DYS involvement. • The success or lack of success of any past treatment. • The services available through the juvenile justice system. • The likelihood of avoiding future criminal conduct. The court may consider other relevant factors. Can a youthful offender’s case(s) be expunged (erased) from their record? Under certain circumstances, youthful offenders may be able to have their re- cords sealed or expunged. The laws regarding delinquents and youthful offenders are found in Massachu- setts General Laws chapter 119, Sections 52–89. Youthful Offenders 12