“CORI” Background Check
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a CORI?
A CORI is a check for Criminal Offender Record Information.
Why does our Diocese use a CORI process?
Background checks are one of the mandates of the USCCB (United States
Catholic Conference of Bishops) Charter for the Protection of Children
and Youth. CORI checks are mandated in the Diocese of Springfield’s
Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth. In addition, Massachusetts
state law requires CORI checks for employees of programs that serve
children (M.G.L., Chapter 6). State law was expanded in November 2002
? Employees and volunteers providing services to elderly or disabled
persons in a home or community-based setting (Section 172C);
? Employees and volunteers at camps for youth under 18 (Section 172G);
? Volunteers at programs providing activities or programs for youth
under 18 (Section 172H).
What is the purpose of the CORI check?
The CORI check is one of the ways in which the Diocese is working to
establish a safe environment for our youth. The intent is to ensure
that those who work with children and other vulnerable groups do not
pose a risk to others. It is important to remember that predators share
information on how to access youth-oriented organizations, and background
checks can be a powerful deterrent to sex offenders.
For whom is the CORI check requested?
CORI checks are completed for:
? All Diocese and parish employees;
? All clergy, religious and deacons;
? All current and prospective employees and volunteers who have or will
have unsupervised contact with children and young people;
? All current and prospective employees and volunteers providing services
to elderly or disabled people in their homes or in community-based settings.
Based on the work or volunteer ministry a person does within a parish,
those who generally need a background check include (but are not limited
to) catechists, teachers, Eucharistic ministers, altar server coordinators,
music ministers, volunteers at a parish picnic or carnival, counselors,
chaperones, youth group leaders, coaches and assistants.
How often are CORI checks conducted?
Every three years. Those who begin work between these 3-year cycles
will be CORI’ed upon employment, and again at the 3-year intervals:
2009, 2012, 2015, etc.
Who else does background checks?
Every U.S. Roman Catholic Diocese and Eparchy is required to do background
checks. In addition, background checks are frequently required by youth-serving
organizations -- Scouts, youth soccer leagues and Little League baseball,
for example. Following the model established by the Catholic Church,
many other religious groups now do background checks as well.
What information does a CORI request?
The CORI request provides access to conviction and pending court activity
data. CORI applies only to crimes punishable by incarceration. It does
not include civil matters, acquittals, or accusations that were dismissed.
The intent is not to cause harm or public embarrassment to people for
past mistakes that they have already been punished for.
How is CORI information requested?
Individuals fill out the Diocesan “CORI Request Form” and
attach a photocopy of current government-issued photo identification.
The forms are provided to the Diocesan Human Resources Office, which
submits the information to the Criminal History Systems Board for processing.
Why do I need to submit a photo ID issued by the government?
This is a federal requirement. Some people are reluctant to use a driver’s
license because the ID number is the same as the Social Security number.
You can have this changed to a random, state-issued ID number at any
full-service RMV office.
Who receives and reads the results of the CORI check?
A person authorized under the CORI Act and certified by the Criminal
History Systems Board receives and reads the results. The Criminal History
Systems Board has authorized Peter Schmidt (Director of the Diocese
Human Resources Office) to review CORI information. CORI results may
be shared with the applicant to whom it pertains.
What will happen if there is an offense on record?
The Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) has developed a list of offenses
considered “Lifetime Disqualifications.” People with these
offenses are disqualified from working or volunteering with minors.
For other offenses, the Diocese follows CHSB guidelines. The circumstances
of each offense are considered, including the type of offense, severity
of offense, length of time since the offense, a single incident versus
multiple occurrences, and the age of the person when an offense was
committed. The Human Resources Director will consult with the pastor
about the course of action to follow.
Is the CORI confidential?
Yes. Dissemination of CORI results to any unauthorized party may subject
the offending agency or individual to a fine of $5,000 and/or up to
one year in jail, in addition to other civil penalties. CORIs are secured
in a locked file at the Diocesan Human Resources Office and kept separate
from personnel files. Copies of ID and personal information are not
transmitted or shared.
I had a CORI check done for a different organization. Why do I need
A CORI result does not transfer from one organization to another. Each
agency must complete its own CORI check on an individual. Due to the
confidential nature of the CORI process, agencies are not permitted
to share the results of CORI checks. For example, staff working with
a youth scouting organization within the parish must have a CORI check
through the Diocese, even when a CORI is completed through the Scouts.
I work with youth in several parishes. Do I need a background check
for each parish?
No, because the background checks are conducted by the Diocese, not
the individual parish. You will need to verify to the parishes with
which you are associated that you received the “Protecting Our
Children” training, signed the Code of Conduct and completed the
For further information, contact:
Director, Human Resources Office (413) 452-0683
Patricia Finn McManamy, LICSW
Director, Office of Counseling, Prevention and Victim Services (413)