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State Changes Regulations on Criminal Access

December 4, 2017
 
The Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) made a number of changes to its regulations this year regarding the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) process. The changes are highlighted below with a link to the relevant Web site if a reader is interested in more information on the topic.  
 
What is CORI?
 
The CORI reform law was passed in 2010 and made many changes in how the commonwealth handles information on people with criminal backgrounds. One important aspect of the law was to encourage employers to look beyond an applicant’s criminal past in considering that person for a job.
 
Specifically, the law required most employers to remove the criminal background question from their employment applications in most cases, although certain exceptions remained depending on the nature of the position. The hope was for the employer to interview all qualified applicants (whether or not there was a criminal background) and only then perform a CORI check by having the applicant sign a CORI acknowledgement form or a supplemental employment application. 
 
Furthermore, any employer performing five or more CORI checks per year must have a written CORI policy. The policy must be given to any applicant who is denied employment based on the results of the CORI.  
 
In most cases an employer wishing to use iCORI must take a training class and agree to certain use conditions. Information of the registration process is available by clicking here
 
CORI Acknowledgement forms must be updated
 
DCJIS regulations provide that “Requestors shall either use the published CORI Acknowledgment Forms or incorporate the language and information provided on the forms into their applications.”  The DCJIS has published stand-alone forms and form language for use by agencies.  Below is a description of each type of form and form language. Requestors should select the form or form language that correctly matches the purpose of its CORI requests.
 
  • The CORI acknowledgement form - To be used by requestors seeking access to CORI for employment or licensing purposes. This is a stand-alone form. 
  • The abbreviated CORI acknowledgment form text- This language may be incorporated into existing employment or licensing applications, provided, however, the application collects the full name, date of birth, at least the last six digits of the social security number, and any former names or aliases of the CORI subject.  Requestors must also note in the application the type of identification that was used to verify the identity of the applicant in accordance with the regulations. 
  • The Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) CORI acknowledgment form - To be used by a requestor that is utilizing the services of a CRA to request CORI from the DCJIS iCORI system.  This is a stand-alone form.
  • The abbreviated Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) CORI acknowledgment form text - This language may be incorporated into a requestor’s existing application to notify the CORI subject that it will be using a CRA to request CORI from the DCJIS iCORI system.  The application must collect the full name, date of birth, at least the last six digits of the social security number, and any former names or aliases of the CORI subject.  Requestors must also note in the application the type of identification that was used to verify the identity of the subject in accordance with the regulations. 
  • Updated CORI Policy - All Requestors who are required to have a CORI Policy must now update their CORI policies or must adopt the new Model CORI Policy
  • Requirement for cloud storage purchase agreements - The CORI regulations now allow for the electronic storage of CORI information using cloud storage technology.  In accordance with the regulations, the DCJIS has published minimum requirements for cloud storage purchase agreements.
  • iCORI Agency Agreements (not available)  - The DCJIS will be publishing an iCORI Agency Agreement for all iCORI requestors to complete in accordance with the updated regulations.  The DCJIS will communicate additional information and will provide a copy of the agreement at a later time. There is no information on this topic on the DCJIS Web site as of this writing. 
  • Users should also review the updated DCJIS FAQ document and Training materials. The DCJIS has also updated the Frequently Asked Questions document and training materials available.
If you have any questions about this article please call the AIM Hotline at 800-470-6277. 
 
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