CORI Checks in the Spirit of Adventure Council
The Spirit of Adventure Council takes youth protection very seriously. In addition to the policies and procedures in place at the National Scouting level, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts also requires a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) check for each volunteer in any youth program. As such, every application for membership submitted to the Spirit of Adventure Council must be accompanied by a CORI form.
Additional information about the council's implementation of the state CORI policy can be found below.
COUNCIL CORI POLICY – EFFECTIVE October 18, 2012
An application to participate as a volunteer and/or staff member in the Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA Inc. requires meeting the council policy for CORI. Where Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and other criminal history checks may be part of a general background check for employment, volunteer work, licensing purposes, the following practices and procedures will be followed.
I. CONDUCTING CORI SCREENING
CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by the DCJIS and MGL c. 6, §. 172, and only after a CORI Acknowledgement Form has been completed. With the exception of screening for the rental or leasing of housing, if a new CORI check is to be made on a subject within a year of his/her signing of the CORI Acknowledgement Form, the subject shall be given seventy two (72) hour notice that a new CORI check will be conducted.
II. ACCESS TO CORI
All CORI obtained from the DCJIS is confidential, and access to the information must be limited to those individuals who have a “need to know.” This may include, but not be limited to, hiring managers, staff submitting the CORI requests, and staff charged with processing job applications. Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA Inc. must maintain and keep a current list of each individual authorized to have access to, or view, CORI. This list must be updated every six (6) months and is subject to inspection upon request by the DCJIS at any time.
III. CORI TRAINING
An informed review of a criminal record requires training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review or access CORI at Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA Inc. will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS. Additionally, as Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA Inc. is an agency required by MGL c. 6 §. 171A to maintain a CORI Policy; all personnel authorized to conduct criminal history background checks and/or to review CORI information will review, and will be thoroughly familiar with, the educational and relevant training materials regarding CORI laws and regulations made available by the DCJIS.
IV. USE OF CRIMINAL HISTORY IN BACKGROUND SCREENING
CORI used for employment purposes shall only be accessed for applicants who are otherwise qualified for the position for which they have applied.
Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant. Rather, determinations of suitability based on background checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.
V. VERIFYING A SUBJECT’S IDENTITY
If a criminal record is received from the DCJIS, the information is to be closely compared with the information on the CORI Acknowledgement Form and any other identifying information provided by the applicant to ensure the record belongs to the applicant.
If the information in the CORI record provided does not exactly match the identification information provided by the applicant, a determination is to be made by an individual authorized to make such determinations based on a comparison of the CORI record and documents provided by the applicant.
VI. INQUIRING ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY
In connection with any decision regarding employment, volunteer opportunities, housing, or professional licensing, the subject shall be provided with a copy of the criminal history record, whether obtained from the DCJIS or from any other source, prior to questioning the subject about his or her criminal history. The source(s) of the criminal history record is also to be disclosed to the subject.
VII. DETERMINING SUITABILITY
If a determination is made, based on the information as provided in section V of this policy, that the criminal record belongs to the subject, and the subject does not dispute the record’s accuracy, , 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 record to the position sought;
(b) The nature of the work to be performed;
(c) Time since the conviction;
(d) Age of the candidate at the time of the 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; and
(i) Any other relevant information, including information submitted by the candidate or requested by the organization.
The applicant is to be notified of the decision and the basis for it in a timely manner.
VIII. ADVERSE DECISIONS BASED ON CORI
If an authorized official is inclined to make an adverse decision based on the results of a criminal history background check, the applicant will be notified immediately. The subject shall be provided with a copy of the organization's CORI policy and a copy of the criminal history. The source(s) of the criminal history will also be revealed. The subject will then be provided with an opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the CORI record. Subjects shall also be provided a copy of DCJIS’ Information Concerning the Process for Correcting a Criminal Record.
IX. SECONDARY DISSEMINATION LOGS
All CORI records obtained from the DCJIS are confidential and can only be disseminated as authorized by law and regulation. A central secondary dissemination log shall be used to record any dissemination of CORI outside this organization, including dissemination at the request of the subject.
X. TIMING OF CORI ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORMS SUBMISSIONS
Spirit of Adventure Council, BSA Inc. will require a CORI Acknowledgement Form for all adults seeking membership coincident with submission of their BSA volunteer application. A CORI Acknowledgement Form will also be submitted with each new BSA volunteer application submitted (e.g. for position change). In addition, all registered adults will re-submit a CORI acknowledgement form at least once every 4 (four) years with implementation beginning in 2013 on a cyclic basis. The council’s registered adults will be divided into four groups, with group A submitting new CORI Acknowledgement Forms in the first year of the cycle, group B in the second year and so on. The cycle will repeat every four years.
Exceptions will be:
(a) Request of the Council Executive Board. The Council Executive Board is empowered to request a CORI Acknowledgement Form from any registered adult at any time the Board determines it is in the best interest of the Council to do so.
(b) Council Camp Staff. Any person serving on a council camp staff will be required to submit a CORI Acknowledgement Form annually.
CORI Policy adopted by Council Executive Board, October 18, 2012.