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 offer legal advice and do intake at the following neighborhood locations:
 
  • Roxbury Court, 85 Warren St. in Roxbury (2nd floor) on the 3rd THURSDAY of the month from 9 a.m. to noon except on holidays.
  • Dorchester Court, 510 Washington St., Dorchester (1st floor near Clerk’s office) on the 2nd and 4th WEDNESDAYS of the month from 9 a.m. to noon, but not the 4th Wednesday in December or on holidays.
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:

  1. Legal advice on CORI issues and representation of clients at criminal record sealing hearings. Click here to link to record sealing and other booklets. 

  2. Appeal of denials of criminal record sealing petitions.

  3. Problems with juvenile court youthful offender records being listed on adult CORI reports in violation of the law.

  4. 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.

  5. Cases where a judge ordered sealing or expungement, but the Commissioner of Probation will not seal or expunge the CORI as ordered.

  6. Violations of BAN the BOX where a job application asked for CORI info.

  7. People who were denied or may be denied a professional license (driving instructor, 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.

  8. Other CORI problems that arise. 

Impact Advocacy 

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