UPDATE: On August 6, 2010, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation that changed the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system. Read more here.
A criminal record often creates an obstacle for ex-offenders seeking employment and housing. Governor Deval Patrick believes the state can reduce the rates at which ex-offenders commit crimes by creating economic opportunities. The Governor submitted a bill entitled “An Act To Reduce Recidivism by Increasing Employment Opportunities” in January 2008. According to Gov. Patrick, the bill will “simultaneously create economic opportunity and enhance public safety by increasing employment opportunities for rehabilitated individuals with criminal records.”
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8wMwYSn3Qs Reducing the waiting period required for sealing a criminal record is one key component of Governor Patrick’s bill. A March 19, 2008 article in the Boston Globe reported that the bill “would constrict the timeline for sealing former offenders’ felony records to 10 years after release, down from the current 15; misdemeanors would be sealed after five years, instead of the current 10. The legislation would also make CORI reports easier to read and process and order the state’s Criminal History Systems Board to consider ‘the importance and value of successful reintegration’ as part of the CORI certification process.” The Boston Globe also reported that “sex offenders’ records would not be sealed and that criminal justice agencies would retain ‘full access to sealed records.’”