Call In Today – Keep Up the Pressure!

Last week, members of the Boston Workers Alliance, Mass Alliance to Reform CORI, Mass Law Reform Institute, and Councilor Turner met with Undersecretaries Mary Beth Heffernan and John Grossman to discuss details of the Governor’s pending CORI Reform proposal.

Through these meetings, we learned that the Governor’s soon to be released proposal includes significant victories for our hard working movement. These wins include an Executive Order that would end blanket CORI-discrimination against those who want to work in health and human service fields, as well as requiring training for all employers who check CORIs to properly read and interpret a record.

However, there are still key provisions that are “on the table,” which we must try to influence before it is too late.

Please make a phone call today!

Governor Deval Patrick’s Office: (617) 725-4005
Secretary of Public Safety, Kevin Burke’s Office: (617) 727-7775

“I am glad to learn that the Governor’s proposal will include some real reforms to the CORI system. However, I am calling to insist that (1) he reduce the waiting period to seal a record to 7 years and 3 years, and also (2) remove the CORI question from all job applications to give ex-offenders a real chance at employment. Thank you for passing on my request. I hope the Governor will accept our suggestions, and ensure that we really help those suffering from CORI discrimination this year.”

Our two demands:

1) Sealing Records: “7 years and 3 years, not 10 and 5″

While we are glad that the Governor supports reducing the waiting periods to seal a CORI, his proposal only offers a reduction to 10 years for a felony and 5 years for a misdemeanor. Our proposal is 7 years and 3 years, respectively, and is based on statistical data that confirms that an ex-prisoner who has been clean for 7 years is no more likely to commit a crime than a person who has never been incarcerated in the past. Reducing the waiting period gives hope to those who want to change and move forward with their lives. Waiting 10 years is still too long.

2) Anti-Discrimination: “Remove the CORI Question from Job Applications”

Because of the stigma against people with CORIs, it is critical to provide fair-hiring protections to job seekers with records. By removing the CORI question from job applications, employers will have to consider the merits and qualifications of an applicant, before weeding them out for merely having a record. The Governor is still considering “taking the question off of job applications.” Ask the Governor to follow the City of Boston’s policy, which has removed the CORI question from over 8,000 job applications, and has required over 2,000 of its vendors to do the same.

Please call the Governor’s Office to thank them for engaging our group, and to encourage them to do the right thing. Because the Governor’s proposal will frame the future CORI debate, we must do everything we can to ensure that our priorities are included in his upcoming proposal.

Thank you for your continued support. Please celebrate our victories as we struggle for jobs and justice for all!