Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service
Public Safety/Law Enforcement: Criminal Records
L11 Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS)
Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
200 Arlington Street, Suite 2200
Chelsea, MA 02150
Formerly the Criminal History Systems Board, the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services operates the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), an extensive database containing detailed criminal record information on every convicted adult in the state, which is available to police departments through terminals connected to a central network. The board has access to criminal records from all over the country through the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems (NLETS) and interfaces with the Registry of Motor Vehicles computer network to keep track of license suspensions, driver histories, and the status of vehicle registrations. As a result of the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) law enacted under MGL 6:172, the board has established mechanisms for facilitating access to records and has coordinated records from a variety of databases to become the central repository for criminal offender record information in the state. By providing a person's name, Social Security number, and last known address, plus a fee, potential creditors and individuals may check and receive information about a person's criminal history. Local school departments may also access the information when considering an applicant for a school position. The board has also implemented a new fingerprint identification system that facilitates police officers' ability to identify suspects. The Warrant Management System, a computerized network making arrest and default warrant information available to local police, law enforcement, court and Registry of Motor Vehicles officials statewide is in place. Also, applicants for employment and others needing documents stating the existence or non-existence of any criminal record may obtain such a document through this board. Call the office (no walk-in service) or contact any local police department for an application.
L12 Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB)
P O Box 4547
Salem MA 01970
Toll Free: 1-800-93MEGAN (936-3426, within Mass. only)
The Sex Offender Registry Board is the state agency responsible for keeping tract of convicted sex offenders and classifying each offender so the public may receive information about offenders who live and work in each community. The goal of the registry is to educated the public and o prevent further victimization.
L13 Office of the Commissioner of Probation
Trial Court of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 405
Boston, MA 02108
The Commissioner of Probation is responsible for the control and supervision of court probation services in the Commonwealth. Probation is a punishment (a sanction) whereby a convicted offender is allowed to remain in the community provided that certain conditions are met satisfactorily. This includes recruitment and training, educational development, and evaluation of work performance of probation officers. As required by law, the office has access to all probation records in the state's courts and has authority to seal the records of individuals having a record of criminal court appearances and dispositions in the state who meet certain criteria. The office is also required to keep and maintain, pursuant to Chapter 188 of the Acts of 1992, a computerized Statewide Domestic Violence Registry, recording the issuance of protective and restraining orders (including civil) and all related court activity. This data is made available to judges and to law enforcement agencies through the criminal justice information system.