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Who can see my CORI?


You can look at your own CORI. See How do get a copy of my CORI?

Other people

Other people who can look at your CORI include:

  • Police, prosecutors, probation, courts and all criminal justice agencies;
  • Landlords and public housing authorities if you apply for housing;
  • Many employers if you apply for a job including:
  • If you apply to adopt a child or become a foster parent, the Department of Children & Families and the Department of Youth Services can see your CORI; and
  • If you were convicted of a crime, victims or witnesses of that crime can see your CORI;

The public

Anyone in the general public can pay a fee to see certain convictions on your CORI report. This report is called “Open CORI.” A conviction means that you were found guilty of a crime. An “Open CORI” shows information about:

  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor a year or less than a year ago;
  • If you were in jail or served time in jail a year or less than a year ago for the conviction of a misdemeanor;
  • If you were convicted of a felony 2 years or less than 2 years ago;
  • If you were in jail or served time in jail 2 years or less than 2 years ago for the conviction of a felony;
  • If you were convicted of a felony that was serious enough to carry punishment of up to 5 years in state prison, the public can see it for 10 years after the date of conviction or release from jail or prison—whichever is later;
  • A conviction for murder, manslaughter or certain sex crimes can be seen forever unless the case was sealed after a long waiting period.

See what is a misdemeanor or a felony


How can I find out who looked at my CORI?

You can ask for a CORI self-audit from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS).

The self-audit will tell you almost everyone who has looked at your CORI. But, it will not tell you if police, probation, courts or other criminal justice staff

looked at your CORI.

The self-audit is free, but you must wait 90 days before you ask for another.

What are private background-checking companies?

Employers, landlords and others can also get criminal record information from private companies. These companies sell criminal background reports and are called Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA's).

These CRA's collect criminal history about people, write reports and sell them. CRA's look at criminal records in clerks’ offices. But they get their information in other ways too. Many of their reports are wrong and out-of-date. Often the reports do not include information that a case was dismissed or closed. This means it may look like you are being prosecuted for a crime even when the court found you not guilty or dismissed the case.

Read The National Consumer Law Center’s report Broken Records How Errors In Criminal Background Reports Harm Workers and Businesses. The report includes the problems these companies cause. It also talks about answers to the problems.


If employers, housing authorities, or landlords want to ask you about a private criminal background report or reject you because of the report, they must:

  • give you a copy of the report and
  • give you a chance to point out mistakes in the report.

People who are the subject of a private background checking company which are also called Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) can get a copy of the information that a CRA has in their file about them. In Massachusetts, the maximum that a CRA can charge you for such a report is $5 for a first copy and $ 8 for other copies requested during the same year. Outside of MA, the Federal Trade Commission sets the maximum price based on the consumer price index. In 2011 and at present, it costs $11.

Some CRA’s are nationwide. Nationwide CRA’s such as for example, LexisNexis, ADP, or HireRight must provide this information for free to the subject of their reports on an annual basis.

Credit reports

Some employers may use credit reporting companies. These companies can also produce reports with errors. The reports may also have old or wrong information. You have a right to a free copy of your report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to point out mistakes in your credit report. You also have the right to get the reports correct. The Federal Trade Commission is in charge of making companies obey this law. It publishes information about how to correct errors on a consumer background report.

If you have problems with one of these

companies, you can call the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (617) 603-1700 for help or a referral.

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Last Updated March 2013
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