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Know your CORI rights

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) can make it hard to get a job, housing and have a good life. It is important to know your rights:

  • You have the right to get a copy of your CORI report.
  • You have the right to fix mistakes on your CORI report.
  • If you apply for housing or jobs, no one can send for a copy of your CORI report without your permission.
  • It is against the law for anyone to ask you to give them a copy of your own CORI report.
  • You have the right to know who asks for copies of your CORI.
  • You have a right to say “I have no record” when your records are sealed.

Jobs and CORI

  • When you first apply for a job, the law makes it illegal for most employers to ask any questions about your CORI.
  • An employer must give you a copy of the CORI report before asking you about anything in the report.
  • If an employer decides not to hire you because of your CORI report or criminal background report, the employer must give you a copy of the report.

What employers can see on the CORI record will depend on what kind of job you applied for. Most employers only see convictions. Learn more about criminal records and applying for jobs.

Housing and CORI

  • When you apply to rent housing, the landlord or agency that you want to rent from can ask permission to get your CORI report. The landlord or agency must give you a copy of the report before asking you about anything in the report.
  • If your application is denied because of your CORI, you must be given a copy of the report.

Learn more about criminal records and housing.

Sealing CORI

You have a right to say “I have no record” when you apply for jobs after your records are sealed.

Sealing in Court

  • You have the right to ask a judge to seal any case when:
    • you were found not guilty,
    • your case was dismissed, or
    • the CORI reports says “NP” or “nolle prosequi” which means the district attorney dropped the case. The district attorney is the lawyer who tried to prove that you were guilty.
  • You have a right to ask a judge to seal a conviction for drug possession if it was the first time you were convicted for drug possession.

Sealing by Mail

If the cases are old enough, you have a right to seal most cases by mail.

Learn more about sealing a criminal record.

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Last Updated October 2015

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