CORI & Re-Entry Project

Cori and Re-Entry Project: Dismantling the New Jim Crow

Black lives matter to GBLS  


Mass incarceration and racially-disparate involvement of African-Americans in the criminal justice system are the new Jim Crow. In general, work is the pathway to a better life and out of poverty, but past criminal records stop countless people from getting jobs, housing, and access to other opportunities.

We started the CORI & Re-entry Project in 2008 in response to numerous requests for help with the devastating effects of criminal records. The project is funded in part by the Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation, Equal Justice Works, and the Mass. Bar Foundation.

CORI Lawyer for the Day Clinics and Self-help Booklets

The Project focuses on Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan due to very high rates of unemployment and extreme poverty in these parts of Boston. 

We primarily conduct clinics virtually online, but we do have some in-person CORI clinics. Click here to learn more about how to participate in either a virtual or in-person clinic.  

If you'd like to join an online clinic, you can get help on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, 2pm to 4pm by Zoom (click here to register for a clinic session). You can also email your name, address and phone number to or leave a message at 617-603-1797.

The Project updates the CORI part of the MassLegal website and produced self-help booklets on sealing of records. Click here to link to record sealing and other booklets.

Direct Client Services

The project represents individual clients and engages in systemic law reform advocacy. Cases accepted include:

  • Appeal of denials of criminal record and juvenile sealing petitions.
  • Fixing mistakes on CORI reports and problems with juvenile court youthful offender records being listed on adult CORI reports in violation of the law. 
  • Denial of the right to seal all of one’s Boston Municipal Court (BMC) cases from all divisions of the BMC in a single division of the court under BMC Standing Order 1-09.
  • Cases where a judge ordered sealing or expungement, but the Commissioner of Probation will not seal or expunge the CORI as ordered.
  • Violations of the BAN the BOX law where a job application asked about criminal records.
  • People who were denied or may be denied a trade or professional license (barbers, driving for Uber or other transportation companies, real estate appraiser, etc.) by an agency because of their CORI especially where: (1) the application asks about arrests and/or non-convictions; or (2) the application does not warn people not to list sealed records.
  • Rejections for housing, training or education programs, jobs or other opportunities based on CORI.
  • Other CORI problems that arise. 

Impact Advocacy 

GBLS is the only legal aid program with a large-scale volume practice of CORI clients.

Read more about the CORI & Re-Entry Project's impact advocacy