Juvenile criminal records are confidential in most circumstances, but the exceptions are significant.
To a much greater extent that its adult counterpart, the juvenile criminal justice system focuses on rehabilitation and guards against the stigma of being labeled a criminal. To that end, juvenile criminal records are generally confidential. But there are exceptions to confidentiality. (In re Jeffrey T., 140 Cal.App.4th 1015 (2006).)
(To learn more about juvenile court proceedings, which are usually considered civil rather than criminal, see Juvenile Court: An Overview.)