2020-2021 Catalog

Criminal Offender Record Information CORI Policy

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks are conducted on students/staff/volunteers in programs involving placement sites where the potential for unsupervised contact with a vulnerable population exists. The following are practices and procedures followed by the College.

CORI checks will be conducted as authorized by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) and MGL c. 6, §.172, and only after a CORI Acknowledgement Form has been completed. (see: www.mass.gov.) If a new CORI check is to be made on a subject within a year of his/her signing of the CORI Acknowledgement Form, the subject shall be given seventy two (72) hours notice that a new CORI check will be conducted. Candidates will be notified through their program that a CORI check will be conducted.

All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential, and access to the information must be limited to those individuals who have a “need to know.” This may include, but not be limited to, hiring managers, staff submitting the CORI requests, and staff charged with processing job applications. Berkshire Community College must maintain and keep a current list of each individual authorized to have access to, or view, CORI. This list must be updated every six (6) months and is subject to inspection upon request by the DCJIs at any time.

CORI used for employment purposes shall only be accessed for applicants who are otherwise qualified for the position for which they have applied.

An informed review of a criminal record requires training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review or access CORI at Berkshire Community College will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS. Berkshire Community College can only make informed, discretionary assessments according to the category of access that is received through the DCJIS.

If a criminal record is received from DCJIS, BCC’s CORI Administrator will compare the record with information provided by the candidate, to ensure the record relates to the candidate. The Administrator may contact DCJIS and request a more detailed search. Note: Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify someone from participation in a program. Rather, determinations of suitability based on CORI checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.

Candidates who have a criminal offense will be notified, by certified mail, of the need to meet with BCC’s CORI Review Committee to discuss the offense/s and its relevance to their particular program of study.

All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential and can only be disseminated as authorized by law and regulation. A central secondary dissemination log shall be used to record any dissemination of CORI outside this organization, including dissemination at the request of the subject.

Candidates shall be provided a copy of DCJIS’s publications: “Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record” and “Information Concerning the Process on How to Establish Yourself as a Victim of Identity Theft,” should they wish to challenge the accuracy of their report. Candidates will also receive a copy of their CORI report.

If the CORI Review Committee reasonably believes the record 1)is the candidate’s and 2)is accurate, then the determination of suitability for the program’s placement will be made. Note: Applicants with a criminal record are ineligible for placement unless they receive clearance by the review committee through the procedure explained in this policy.

Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but not be limited to, the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the record to the program sought
  • Nature of the work to be performed
  • Time since the conviction
  • Age of the candidate at the time of the offense
  • Any other relevant information given to, or received by the committee Seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense
  • Number of offenses and whether charges are pending
  • Any relevant or lack thereof evidence of rehabilitation

Candidate will

  • Be notified of any decision in a timely manner;
  • Be advised that a criminal record may potentially have impact on future licensure/employment;
  • Be advised of ineligibility and why (if applicable);
  • Be notified of the right to appeal the committee’s decision;
    • The Appeal Officer is CORI certified but does not participate in the CORI review process.
    • Written notice of an appeal must be submitted within ten (10) working days of the committee’s decision.
    • The Appeal Officer will consider all records submitted along with the Committee’s decision.
    • The Appeal Officer’s decision must be issued within ten (10) working days of receiving the appeal.
    • This decision is final.

    All inquiries concerning BCC’s administrative procedures concerning CORI records should be directed to the Student Engagement Center.