Where Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks are part of a general background check for employment, volunteer work or licensing purposes, the following practices and procedures will be generally followed:
I. CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS).
A. All applicants who will have access to campus residential buildings will be notified by Human Resources that a CORI check will be conducted. If requested, the applicant will be provided with a copy of the CORI policy.
B. Student volunteers, interns, coaches and or those on practicum may be subject to a CORI check at the desecration of sending department. If requested, students will be provided with a copy of the CORI policy.
II. An informed review of a criminal record requires adequate training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review CORI in the decision-making process will be thoroughly familiar with the educational materials made available by DCJIS. This review will be made by the CORI Committee established by vote of the Cabinet to be comprised of the Director of Diversity, the Director of Human Resources and the Campus Police Chief, supplemented by the appropriate Department Head whenever deemed necessary.
III. Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant or student volunteer. Rather, determinations of suitability based on CORI checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulation.
IV. If a criminal record is received from DCJIS, the authorized individual will closely compare the record provided by the DCJIS with the information on the CORI request form and any other identifying information provided by the applicant, to ensure the record relates to the applicant.
V. If Worcester State University is inclined to make an adverse decision based on the results of the CORI check, the applicant will be notified immediately. The applicant shall be provided with a copy of the criminal record and the University’s CORI policy, advised of the part(s) of the record that make the individual unsuited for the position or license, and given an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the CORI record.
VI. Applicants challenging the accuracy of the DCJIS report shall be provided a copy of the DCJIS’s Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record. If the CORI record provided does not exactly match the identification information provided by the applicant, Worcester State University will make a determination based on a comparison of the CORI record and documents provided by the applicant. Worcester State University may contact DCJIS and request a detailed search consistent with DCJIS policy.
VII. If Worcester State University reasonably believes the record belongs to the applicant and is accurate, based on the information as provided in section IV of the policy, then the determination of suitability for the position or license will be made. Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but not be limited to the following:
A. Relevance of the crime to the position sought
B. The nature of the work to be performed
C. Time since conviction
D. Age of the candidate at the time of offense
E. Seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense
F. The number of offenses
G. Whether the applicant has pending charges
H. Any relevant evidence of rehabilitation or lack thereof
I. Any other relevant information, including information submitted by the candidate or requested by Worcester State College
VIII. Worcester State University will notify the applicant of the decision in a timely manner.