Juvenile court records, which by law are not open to the public, were found Wednesday strewn about the old Rogers County Courthouse, left unsecured and available to anyone who happened on them.
The criminal index cards — including information about arrests, victims and “deprived” juvenile cases — were discovered by District Court Clerk Kim Henry near the former Rogers County Treasurer’s Office and appeared to have been left there since county officials moved into the new courthouse in April.
State law defines “deprived” children as those who, for any reason, are destitute, homeless, abandoned, abused, neglected and do not have proper parental care or guardianship.
Henry discovered the juvenile files while moving final items from her secured storage closet located in the basement of the building.
Henry said the records do not belong to her office, but rather were the responsibility of the District Attorney.
“All juvenile records are required to be in a locked cabinet, inside a locked office,” said Henry.
Oklahoma law states juvenile court records and district attorney’s records are confidential and “shall not be open to the general public or inspected or their contents disclosed.”
After discovering the sensitive nature of what appeared to be abandoned juvenile records, Henry said she contacted the DA’s office to inform them of the situation.
The Claremore Daily Progress contacted the DA’s office for a response by two emails and two voicemails prior to deadline, but did not receive a response.
The criminal card index records were handwritten, sorted by the suspect or victim’s name and juveniles were identified in red ink. The files contained personal information, including the individual’s date of birth, social security number, address, case number and other pertinent case information.
It was not clear if the personal information had been compromised by unauthorized people reading the records.
Henry, who previously worked in the district attorney’s office, said it appeared the filing system had been ripped apart and that some of the records were missing. She said some of the files were used as reference material as recently as last year because they had not been electronically archived yet.
The unsecured juvenile records were not the only issue Henry reported. She also contacted Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker Monday, requesting something be done about building security at the old courthouse after receiving reports of vandalism.
“The general public has been in and out of the old building,” Henry said. “I would come over to work in the evening and one of the doors was tied open.”
Other security complaints have been recently reported to the Claremore Police Department.
On July 11 at 4 a.m., three CPD officers responded to a call for assistance from the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office due to a door standing open on the east side of the building. No arrests or reports were taken, according to CPD records.
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