CORI/SORI Frequently Asked Questions What is a “CORI”? CORI stands for “Criminal Offender Record Information”. It refers to the process of requesting, receiving and evaluating criminal records in Massachusetts pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 6, section 172(c). Such information is regulated by the Criminal History Systems Board in Massachusetts. What is a “SORI”? SORI stands for “Sex Offender Registry Information”. In Massachusetts, the records of certain types of sexual crimes are kept by the SORI Board. ( Mass. General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 178(j) & (k). What is “CHRI”? CHRI stands for “Criminal Records Central Repository”. The CHRI keeps criminal records In New Hampshire. What is the “CORI/SORI/CHRI process”? The “CORI process” refers to the steps you will go through in signing a release for the college, having your legal history reviewed and, if necessary, meeting with a small subcommittee of faculty and staff from the college. The subcommittee reviews the accuracy of the legal record, advises and supports the student in order to achieve a better understanding of the circumstances of the incident(s). Why does the college make me go through this process? Massachusetts law requires that every person must go through a criminal records check before being placed in a setting where he/she might have potentially unsupervised contact with “vulnerable populations” (children, the elderly, disabled, etc.). Who will know about my legal history if I sign to authorize the CORI? The CORI process is completely confidential. No one outside of a small group of Administrators and staff will ever learn of your legal history. Your teachers and clinical supervisors will never know anything about your legal history unless you choose to tell them. When do I need to sign up to authorize my CORI? After you register for a practicum (internship or field experience) which is a required course in the Human Services Program, you will be given forms to complete that will authorize the college to do a CORI/SORI/CHRI check on your legal background. No student will be considered eligible to begin a practicum until they have been cleared by the CORI/SORI/CHRI process at the college. The college will notify you of your status and whether you are eligible to begin practicum as soon as the records are received. Can I find out now, rather than wait until I do my practicum, whether or not I will pass my CORI? The college is only permitted to check your CORI/SORI/CHRI record when you have registered for a practicum/internship or clinical course. You can apply to receive a copy of your criminal record on your own, if you would like, and someone from the college will help you interpret your legal history. If I have a charge or arrest in my past, does that mean that I can not pass the CORI process? Having a charge or an arrest does not automatically disqualify you from passing the CORI process. If a student does have a legal history, the student will be asked to meet with a small subcommittee of faculty and staff from the college. As stated, the purpose of that meeting with the subcommittee is to review the accuracy of the legal record and to advise and support the student in order to achieve a better understanding of the circumstances of the incident(s). Although there is a category of very serious offenses for which conviction results in a presumption of lifetime disqualification, most offenses fall into the discretionary category. The subcommittee will consider many issues, including the age of the conviction, the student’s age at the time of the offense, the seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense, any relevant evidence of rehabilitation and any other relevant information the student would like to bring to the subcommittee’s attention. I was arrested as a minor and told that no one would be able to see my record. Does that mean that I will pass my CORI? Yes, in most cases. The college is not generally permitted to receive juvenile records unless they involve sexual misconduct and fall under SORI. What can I do to help prepare for the CORI process? If you know that you have a legal history, it will be useful for you to begin a process of gathering references that can speak to your good character such as an employer, therapist or probation officer. It will be helpful for you to reflect upon the circumstances, decisions and behaviors the led to the legal charges so that you can offer some understanding to the CORI/SORI/CHRI subcommittee. How many students have been “counseled out” of the program or have not been able to complete their certificate or associate degree program because of their CORI? The current Human Services Program Coordinator, Jane Gagliardi, LICSW became an employee at Northern Essex Community College in Fall 2002,and does not know of any student who has been unable to complete his/her certificate or associate degree program due to their CORI/SORI/CHRI status since that time. Is there a cost to me, as a student, to be “CORI’D”? New Hampshire charges a fee for criminal records which is charged to the student. Massachusetts does not charge the college a fee for criminal record checks. How could I get a copy for myself of my CORI? You can apply to receive a copy of your Massachusetts record online, by going to the Criminal History Systems Board website (CHSB) and downloading and completing an application. Be sure to have your signature notarized and include your record check fee. New Hampshire records and SORI records are not yet available online. You can also go to any district or probate court and ask for a CORI application. Does the CORI cover the entire country? CORI records only include charges filed against you in Massachusetts. Who can I contact if I have some further questions about this CORI/SORI/CHRS process? To obtain more information, or to speak to someone about your individual history, you can contact Colleen Walsh, Lawrence campus Registrar, at (978) 738-7701(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Carol Liebman, at (978) 738-7444 (email@example.com). NECC personnel make every effort to help students prepare for careers in their chosen fields. Students are encouraged to seek assistance and support.
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