As the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog indicated yesterday, officials in Newton are reviewing their hiring procedures in the wake of the two recent arrests relating to child pornography. It may be worth noting that these were arrests…not convictions…but, then again, to most…maybe not.
Anyway, Mayor Setti Warren has announced, “We’re going to look at everything,…We want to take a look at what options there are inside the city, outside the city, and within the balance of the law.” He went on to say that the sessions will look at not only additional screening of potential employees, but also at their training and supervision on things like how complaints will be handled. He added that the findings will be reported to the public.
While, for the most part, this sounds reasonable, there are still issues. For example, Newton city did a criminal history check on the two recent arrestees before they were hired. Said history check includes checking the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information ( “CORI”). Further, the CORI check is repeated every three years. No problems were found in either case. While some say that databases outside the Commonwealth should also be checked, doing so would apparently not have prevented the instant situation; neither man had any record of criminal history.
So…where do we go from here?
Attorney Sam’s Take On Criminal Offender Record Information Searches
Let’s do what any experienced criminal defense attorney has to do on a daily basis…separate, to some degree, what one is concerned with, depending on which hat one is wearing at the time. For example, as a citizen, I am against crime. As a defense lawyer, I defend alleged criminals (I, semi-jokingly, prefer the term “the misunderstood amongst us”). As you know, of course, I have strong concerns about the criminal justice system which are consistent with both hats…but that is a topic for another day.
The topic here, for today at least, is the CORI check
Let’s start with the prevention hat. How can we make sure that potential predators do not end up with jobs through which they can victimize the innocent? Well, sure, CORI can be a start. Further, I agree that, if you are going do CORI checks, it makes sure not to limit yourself to this state…particularly if the subject has ever worked or lived in a different state.
“Well, what information does CORI give you?”