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Report: CORI Reform Implementation A ‘Continuing Challenge’

Two years ago, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a law reforming the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system. “Effective implementation” of those reforms, however, “requires ongoing support,” according to a new report.

As we’ve reported: In an effort to reduce recidivism, the CORI reforms prohibited employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on a preliminary job application and reduced the amount of time before certain criminal records can be sealed.

But, the report (PDF) from the Boston Foundation and the Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources, titled “The Continuing Challenge of CORI Reform,” finds that many employers have not changed their job applications to fully comply with the law.

And, as WBUR’s Dave Faneuf reported for our Newscast unit, the analysis raises resource concerns about training for a new online CORI system and “also cites loopholes in which consumer reporting agencies, that are not bound by state law, can continue to disseminate criminal checks past the state’s timeline.”

“The changes to the sealing and dissemination processes are widely misunderstood, and require significant education and training in order to achieve the intended effect,” the report concluded.

The report offers a number of suggestions for improving the law’s implementation, including a central information repository on the mass.gov website.

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