Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 16-31
This paper examines how changes in employers' access to job applicants' criminal histories affect ex-offender recidivism. We use extensive state administrative data on individual criminal histories spanning the 2010-2012 Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform, widely regarded as landmark legislation governing access to individuals' criminal information. The CORI Reform: i) banned inquiring about criminal history on initial job applications, and ii) broadened the list of groups eligible to use the state's criminal records repository while simultaneously restricting the scope of record access. Using survival analysis and panel regressions, we generally find small reductions in recidivism resulting from each component of the CORI Reform.