People with criminal records would be able to more quickly shield that information from prospective employers under legislation filed Friday by Gov. Deval Patrick, who says the change will give them a better chance to become productive citizens.
Patrick's proposed overhaul of the state Criminal Offender Record Information or "CORI" system is aimed at giving people a second chance after they've served prison or probation terms, and even after being cleared of criminal charges.
"It improves their opportunity to get employment," said Kevin Burke, Patrick's secretary of public safety.
Currently, people convicted of felonies can seek to seal their criminal record after 15 years. Patrick's bill shortens the wait to 10 years, and shortens the wait on misdemeanor convictions from 10 to five years -- if the person stays out of trouble.
Misdemeanor violations of restraining orders would remain unchanged at 10 years, while sex offenders would never be eligible to seal records.