& information concerning the process in correcting a criminal record
Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) CORI POLICY
This policy is applicable to the criminal history screening of prospective and current employees, volunteers and interns.
Where Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and other criminal history checks may be part of a general background check for employment and volunteer work, the following practices and procedures will be followed.
I. CONDUCTING CORI SCREENING
CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by the DCJIS and MGL c. 6, §.172, and only after a CORI Acknowledgement Form has been completed.
If a new CORI check is to be made on a subject within a year of his/her signing of the CORI Acknowledgement Form, the subject shall be given seventy two (72) hours notice that a new CORI check will be conducted.
II. ACCESS TO CORI
All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential, and access to the information must be limited to those individuals who have a “need to know”. This may include, but not be limited to, hiring managers, staff submitting the CORI requests, and staff charged with processing job applications. The Boston College Neighborhood Center must maintain and keep a current list of each individual authorized to have access to, or view, CORI. This list must be updated every six (6) months and is subject to inspection upon request by the DCJIS at any time.
III. CORI TRAINING
An informed review of a criminal record requires training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review or access CORI at the Boston College Neighborhood Center will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS.
Additionally, if the Boston College Neighborhood Center is an agency required by MGL c. 6,s. 171A, to maintain a CORI Policy, all personnel authorized to conduct criminal history background checks and/or to review CORI information will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS.
IV. USE OF CRIMINAL HISTORY IN BACKGROUND SCREENING
CORI used for employment purposes shall only be accessed for applicants who are otherwise qualified for the position for which they have applied. Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant. Rather, determinations of suitability based on background checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.
V. VERIFYING A SUBJECT’S IDENTITY
If a criminal record is received from the DCJIS, the information is to be closely compared with the information on the CORI Acknowledgement Form and any other identifying information provided by the applicant to ensure the record belongs to the applicant.
If the information in the CORI record provided does not exactly match the identification information provided by the applicant, a determination is to be made by an individual authorized to make such determinations based on a comparison of the CORI record and documents provided by the applicant.
VI. INQUIRING ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY
In connection with any decision regarding employment, volunteer opportunities, housing, or professional licensing, the subject shall be provided with a copy of the criminal history record, whether obtained from the DCJIS or from any other source, prior to questioning the subject about his or her criminal history. The source(s) of the criminal history record is also to be disclosed to the subject.
VII. DETERMINING SUITABILITY
If a determination is made, based on the information as provided in section V of this policy, that the criminal record belongs to the subject, and the subject does not dispute the record’s accuracy, , then the determination of suitability for the position or license will be made. Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Relevance of the record to the position sought;
(b) The nature of the work to be performed;
(c) Time since the conviction;
(d) Age of the candidate at the time of the offense;
(e) Seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense;
(f) The number of offenses;
(g) Whether the applicant has pending charges;
(h) Any relevant evidence of rehabilitation or lack thereof; and
(i) Any other relevant information, including information submitted by the candidate or requested by the organization.
The applicant is to be notified of the decision and the basis for it in a timely manner.
VIII. ADVERSE DECISIONS BASED ON CORI
If an authorized official is inclined to make an adverse decision based on the results of a criminal history background check, the applicant will be notified immediately. The subject shall be provided with a copy of the organization's CORI policy and a copy of the criminal history. The source(s) of the criminal history will also be revealed. The subject will then be provided with an opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the CORI record. Subjects shall also be provided a copy of DCJIS’ Information Concerning the Process for Correcting a Criminal Record.
IX. SECONDARY DISSEMINATION LOGS
All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential and can only be disseminated as authorized by law and regulation. A central secondary dissemination log shall be used to record any dissemination of CORI outside this organization, including dissemination at the request of the subject.
INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PROCESS IN CORRECTING A CRIMINAL RECORD
1. If you have undergone a background check by an agency that has received a criminal record from the DCJIS, you may ask the agency to provide you with a copy of the criminal record. You may also request a copy of your adult criminal record from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, 200 Arlington Street, Suite 2200, Chelsea, MA 02150 or by calling (617)660-4640 or go to http://www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/cjis/cori_request_personal.pdf
2. The DCJIS charges $25.00 fee to provide an individual with a copy of his/her criminal record. You may complete an affidavit of indigency and request that the DCJIS waive the fee.
3. Upon receipt, review the record. If you need assistance in interpreting the entries or dispositions, please review the disposition code and “how to read a criminal record” on the DCJIS website www.mass.gov/cjis/cori/cori_bop.html
4. The DCJIS does not offer “walk-in” service but you may call our Legal Division at (617)660-4760 for assistance or the CARI Unit of the Office of the Commissioner of Probation at (617)727-5300.
5. If you believe that a case is opened on your record that should be marked closed, you may contact the Office of the Commissioner of Probation Department at the court where the charges were brought and request that the case(s) be updated.
6. If you believe that a disposition is incorrect, contact the Chief Probation Officer at the court where the charges were brought or the CARI Unit at the Office of the Commissioner of Probation and report that the court incorrectly entered a disposition on your criminal record.
7. If you believe that someone has stolen or improperly used your identity and were arraigned on criminal charges under your name, you may contact the Office of the Commissioner of Probation CARI Unit or the Chief Probation Officer in the court where the charges were brought. For a listing of courthouses and telephone numbers please see www.mass.gov/cjis/cori/cori_codes_court.html
8. In some situations of identity theft, you may need to contact the DCJIS to arrange to have fingerprints analysis conducted.
9. If there is a warrant currently outstanding against you, you need to appear at the court and ask that the warrant be recalled. You cannot do this over the telephone.
10. If you believe that an employer, volunteer agency, housing agency or municipality has been provided with a criminal record that does not pertain to you, the agency should contact the CORI Unit for assistance at (617)660-4640.