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Should I seal my CORI?

You have a criminal record even if you were found not guilty or the case was dismissed. There are many reasons to seal CORI. Studies show most employers do not hire people who have criminal records. Many people have problems getting housing as well as jobs because of their criminal records. Other people get rejected for internships at colleges, hospitals or other training programs because of their records. Some parents cannot go on school field trips or volunteer at their children’s schools because of their records.

Important

Lots of people seem to think that the CORI given to an employer will say that a person has a sealed record. This is not true. Most employers and others who get your CORI will not find out about your sealed records.

The law permits only a few employers and state agencies to get information about sealed records:

  • The Department of Early Education and Care and its subcontractors that screen daycare workers have access to sealed record data.
  • The Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Department of Youth Services (DYS) have access to your “sealed record data” if you apply to become a foster parent or try to adopt a child.
  • As of May 4, 2012, Criminal justice agencies (police, probation, courts, prosecutors, etc..) have “immediate” access to sealed and unsealed records to do their jobs.

Important

If you are not a citizen, talk with an immigration lawyer before sealing your records. You will need certified copies to apply for citizenship at a later time and certified copies of papers from your case(s) for hearings on your immigration status.  If your cases are sealed, you might miss a deadline to file copies of the criminal records in time for your immigration case.

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Last Updated March 2013

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