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News :: Human Rights : Organizing : Social Welfare
Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
21 Apr 2006
Organizations, groups and citizens from across Massachusetts gathered on the Boston Commons Thursday April 20th to demand CORI reform.
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Organizations, groups and citizens from across Massachusetts gathered on the Boston Commons Thursday April 20th to demand CORI reform.

CORI refers to the laws and practices relating to criminal records in the Commonwealth, it literally stands for “Criminal Offender Record Information”. While originally intended to protect the privacy of people with criminal records, the CORI laws were expanded during the recent 'tough on crime' years. Current access to CORI records is virtually wide-open.

2.8 million people in Massachusetts have CORI and 1.5 million CORI reports are produced a year for government agencies and private employers.

Speakers at the rally described how CORI discrimination is used across the state to denying jobs, housing, credit or student aid.

Many demonstrators called for the passages of Public Safety Act of 2006 which would; remove non-convictions from the CORI, allow juvenile records to be sealed, train employers to understand CORI reports, reduce waiting times to seal old records and mandate no blanket CORI discrimination in hiring.

For more information on the CORI and the CORI reform movement see these sites:

http://unionofminorityneighborhoods.org/marc/index.html
http://www.unionvoice.org/massjwj/alert-description.tcl?alert_id=1468793
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Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
21 Apr 2006
(BIMC Editor Note: this comment was in response to another comment that was deleted.)

Yeah, only if you are convicted...

Or someone with the same NAME as you is convicted...

Or as it turns out if you're acquitted, your case is continued without a finding, or dismissed, and they don't bother to take your name off the list, which happens a LOT... that's what all the calls for "REFORM" are for you idiot...

Or if you got arrested as a juvenile, did your community service then, and are in your 40s now...

And by the way I don't see where you quoted "communities of color" from this article.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
23 Apr 2006
Without the CORI or another type of system we would have dirtbags serving in the military, child molesters working at daycares, crack heads attending medical school and so on. Does that make any sense. It seems that only those that have criminal records need to be concerned. I guess the moral of the story is to NOT conduct yourself with any illegal activity or associate with those that do. Pretty cut and dry.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
23 Apr 2006
Yes, let's just forget about the crimes that people commit. Remember one thing. People who rob others and who rape others and who sell drugs to kids are nothing but predators. They are no better than human waste, but this country which all of you hate actually bestows rights upon them. Unlike what Jefferson, the poor misguided slaveowner had to say, these rights are not inalienable. They exist only as long as the government decides to allow them to you. So stop whining and be glad that unlike the custom in Islamic Republics, you are not beheaded for your crime, or have your hands chopped off for your crimes, or have other body parts cut off for your crimes. In other words count your blessings.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
23 Apr 2006
The last 2 comments are from people who just don't get it.

The CORI as it is now does not stop "preditors" from making trouble, it only prevents people who have made past mistakes from doing the right thing. You do not need a CORI check to sell drugs on the street, but you do need a CORI check to get a job flipping burgers, let alone jobs that fit the skills that some people with a CORI have to offer.

What these people are asking for is not a complete elimination of the CORI system – they are asking for it to be REFORMED. Here is how the system works now:
After a person has completed any jail sentence, been through parole and probation and any fines have been paid, their CORI (their criminal record) is open to the public for 10 years after a misdemeanor and 15 years after a felony before they can apply to have it sealed.

Statistics show that after obtaining a CORI if one is going to recidivate they are most likely to do so within three years. Check http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/recidivism/2001/curves.html. If someone has remained crime free for 5 to 7 years the chances of them re-offending drops to almost zero. After the chances of recidivating have leveled off, people in MA with CORIs have to wait a further 4 years (in the case of a misdemeanor) or 9 years (in the case of a felony) of job and housing discrimination before they can apply to have their records sealed.

In Massachusetts 80% of employers run a CORI check and the majority of those who do this do not hire anyone with a CORI whatsoever. No indication of efforts to rehabilitate are provided in the CORI. The CORI is written in code so very few employers who do CORI screening are even able to tell if the offence that landed the individual with a CORI is in anyway relevant to the job in question. (Should drug possession as a teen prevent a 28 year old who has paid her debt to society and changed her ways from having a steady job and housing, and from the ability to live with and support her family?)

2 other direct responses to the above comments- these people are asking for CORI reform: sex crimes are covered under the SORI, not the CORI. And certain crimes like murder have life long parole, so it is not possible for the 15 year countdown to CORI sealing to even begin in these cases.

The CORI reform proposed in the public safety act of 2006 is truly an act that will improve public safety in this state. It is based on sound facts and cost nothing at all. This is no handout to criminals, all it offers to people with criminal records is hope – it creates incentive to people with criminal records to live better lives because of society’s willingness to give them the opportunity to work and live honestly after their debt to society is paid.


(PS, as a person with no CORI, I reallly truely believe that the reform in the Public Safety Asc of 2006 is best for all of us.)
Good Point
23 Apr 2006
Thank you Sarah! You make a very good point. I was convicted in 1992 of Rape. The judge hated me. My CPCS lawyer set me up. They convicted me because I was Black.
Response to "College student"
24 Apr 2006
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We ALL need to be concerned about the CORI. It does not just affect those that have one. The Public Safety Act, keyword Safety, would give people a better chance to get jobs and get back into society after they have already done their time. It is not easy to go to prison and rehabilitate, but the CORI stops those people who have worked harder than anyone else, and who want it more than anyone else, and who need it more than anyone else, to get a JOB and become a member of society again.
People can change and deserve another chance.

by another college student
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Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
24 Apr 2006
I recently had the opportunity to visit two prisons and a womans facility. Guess what? Every single inmate we spoke with was a habitual offender. Give them the chance? They had chances. They had the chance not to rape the next door neighbor. They had the chance not to hit the crack pipe. They had the chance not steal that car. They had the chance not to assault a mailman. They had the chance not to get three OUI's.

They do not need the chance to slip through a CORI/or any other kind of check and have the ability to hurt kids, use drugs, violate women, or destroy lives.

Unless you are a rapist, murderer, drug dealer/user, hooker, drunk or brawler you really have nothing to cincern yourself with. Right?
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
24 Apr 2006
WRONG. Did you ever ask these people why they're repeat offenders? Perhaps it has something to do with the simple fact that PRISONS DO NOT WORK. Incarceration does not suddenly turn people into productive members of society (which is guilty of many more crimes than any gang or other vehicle of "organized crime" could be capable of.) I highly suggest that you stop looking at people who have made mistakes as animals and start treating them as human beings. Sure, they "had the chance," but what would you do in most of their shoes? Have you ever suffered from drug addiction? It's crippling. As for the prosititutes, if you were poor your whole life and had to choose between a minimum wage job with no benefits and the ability to clear several hundred dollars in a night, would you really go for the "straight and narrow" path? The greatest theives do not live inside prisons, but run them for they are the very people who create these unfortunate situations in the first place.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
24 Apr 2006
Yes, let's just forget about the crimes that people commit. Remember one thing. People who rob others and who rape others and who sell drugs to kids are nothing but predators. They are no better than human waste, but this country which all of you hate actually bestows rights upon them. Unlike what Jefferson, the poor misguided slaveowner had to say, these rights are not inalienable. They exist only as long as the government decides to allow them to you. So stop whining and be glad that unlike the custom in Islamic Republics, you are not beheaded for your crime, or have your hands chopped off for your crimes, or have other body parts cut off for your crimes. In other words count your blessings.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
24 Apr 2006
the attitude that this criminally unjust system only affects criminals is what we are fed every day on tv and from the politicians who see an easy way to look tough and climb the political ladder. but it takes real courage and concern for ALL of our safety to address the myriad problems that the prison system creates. 600,000 people are released from federal and state prisons every year, which hold an average of more than 2 million people at any one time (not counting local and county jails). these are often people convicted of nonviolent crimes, who come out traumatized from their experience inside, and newly blacklisted by the CORI system. can't find work, can't get housing, can't get education, no support system from the community- how are these people supposed to survive on the outside and change their lives? until we provide sufficient ways for these people to make it in our society by our rules, we can't hold them accountable for falling back into unhealthy patterns of behavior and going back to jail. you really think it's not your problem?

i hear the average cost to incarcerate people in Mass is past $50,000 and approaching $60,000. imagine what our society would be if these funds were used in a more sensible way- appropriate public safety safeguards yes, but also in conjunction with education, job training, mental health programs (to deal with addiction, rape trauma, childhood abuse, etc, etc). it's imposssible to live in a safer and more healthy society if we don't deal with the consequences of this corrupt and cruel system which is criminally shortsighted and unconcerned with anything besides punishment. if that's what you want, be prepared for the obvious increase in crime and anger among millions of (black/latino, but also plenty of white, and uniformly poor) formerly incarcerated people.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
25 Apr 2006
BWA CORI Fact Sheet

CORI stands for the Criminal Offender Record Information. It is a statewide database that records our contact with the court system.

When the CORI system was created in the 70's, mostly law enforcement agencies were allowed to see this sensitive information.

The CORI includes criminal cases that have been found not guilty, without finding or dismissed.

Today, there are 2.8 million CORI profiles kept in Massachusetts.

in 1994, 1 out of 5 employers across the country used criminal records to screen potential job seekers. By 2004, 4 out of 5 employers checked for records in applications.

CORIs are used to fire workers, even those employed at a business for many years.

Today in Massachusetts, 10,000 organizations can access the CORI. Last year, 1.4 million profiles were given out.

In Massachusetts, CORI is used to deny people jobs, public housing, credit & student loans.

Many businesses will not hire anyone with a CORI, regardless of experience or education.

CORIs from felony convictions are open for at least 15 years; Misdemeanors are for 10 yrs.

For entry-level applicants, Blacks with records have a 5% chance of being called back for interviews. Blacks without records have a 14% chance. Whites with records have 17% chance, and whites without records have 34% chance.

In 2006, residents from across Massachusetts are calling to end CORI discrimination.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
25 Apr 2006
I work for the "man" and have for several years now with different groups. By having a CORI check done on me I am able to obtain and maintain a decent job. Also, I am not surrounded by criminals or worst!
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
25 Apr 2006
Yes, let's just forget about the crimes that people commit. Remember one thing. People who rob others and who rape others and who sell drugs to kids are nothing but predators. They are no better than human waste, but this country which all of you hate actually bestows rights upon them. Unlike what Jefferson, the poor misguided slaveowner had to say, these rights are not inalienable. They exist only as long as the government decides to allow them to you. So stop whining and be glad that unlike the custom in Islamic Republics, you are not beheaded for your crime, or have your hands chopped off for your crimes, or have other body parts cut off for your crimes. In other words count your blessings.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
26 Apr 2006
I'm glad someone is trying to help a record is a life sentence. no wonder people continue to commit crimes.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
28 Apr 2006
Can't do the time then don't do the crime!
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
30 Apr 2006
So what if someone commits rape, burglary or armed robbery. That is simply a life choice. Who are we to interefere with a person's life choice?
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
01 May 2006
person that commits rape should be shot!
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
01 May 2006
For anyone who keeps commenting about rape and other sex crimes way to not know anything. The SORI is for these crimes. We are asking for CORI reform.

As far as murder goes again someone already mentioned this "certain crimes like murder have life long parole, so it is not possible for the 15 year countdown to CORI sealing to even begin in these cases. "

Read this thread and read the issues, learn the facts, and stop being so damn stupid and reactionary.

Death (by a government) for rape is not sensible but im not going to get into that.
How To Stop CORI
03 May 2006
Run C.O.R.I. checks on all politicians families BEFORE elections. And make sure ANY mud is printed and aired. I'm sure C.O.R.I. would die silently.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
04 May 2006
This is so true, I know someone whose larceny case got dismissed. He didn't do anything, the police got the story wrong and they pointed the finger at him cause he dressed "gangster" , anyways judge saw the case and dismissed it on the spot because the facts didn't make sense coming from the accuser. This kid now has larceny on his cori , but next to it , it says dismissed , I think this kid deserves a second chance. Kids been depressed from it ever since it happened.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
06 May 2006
"Run C.O.R.I. checks on all politicians families BEFORE elections. "

I agree with this. I can think of many legislators who should have been disqualified. Marion Barry, chief executive of Washington DC should have had a criminal record check done on him.
Re: Rally and Education Day to Demand CORI Reform
22 May 2006
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