Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 168 of chapter 6 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1988 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
There shall be a criminal history systems board, hereinafter called the board, consisting of the following persons: the secretary of public safety, who shall serve as chairman, the attorney general, the chief counsel for the committee for public counsel services, the chairman of the parole board, the commissioner of the department of correction, the commissioner of probation and commissioner of the department of youth services, or their designees, all of whom shall serve ex officio, and nine persons to be appointed by the governor for a term of three years, one of whom shall represent the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, one of whom shall represent the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association, and one of whom shall represent the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, one of whom shall represent private users of criminal offender record information, one of whom shall be a victim of crime, and four of whom shall be persons who have experience in issues relating to personal privacy. Upon the expiration of the term of any appointive member, his successor shall be appointed in a like manner for a term of three years.
SECTION 2. The second paragraph of said section 168 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the first two sentences.
SECTION 3. The third paragraph of said section 168 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 28 and 29, the words ", after giving the security and privacy council an opportunity to present its advice and recommendations,".
SECTION 4. The third paragraph of said section 168 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following two sentences:- After consultation with the executive office of communities and development and subject to the provision of said chapter thirty A, the board shall promulgate further regulations governing the collection and use by local housing authorities of such criminal offender record information as they may lawfully receive; provided, however, that such regulations shall provide that the following information be available to housing authorities operating pursuant to chapter one hundred and twenty-one B, upon request, solely for the purpose of evaluating applicants to housing owned by such housing authorities, in order to further the protection and well-being of tenants of such housing authorities: conviction date; and arrest and other data regarding any pending criminal charge; provided, further, that any housing authority receiving such data shall not make, and shall prohibit, any dissemination of such information, for any purpose other than as set forth herein. The board shall have the authority to hear complaints alleging that criminal offender record information, evaluative information, or records of juvenile proceedings have been unlawfully disseminated or obtained, and to issue orders enforcing its rules and regulations, including the imposition of civil fines payable to the commonwealth not to exceed five hundred dollars for each willful violation thereof, after notice and hearing as provided by applicable law.
SECTION 5. Section one hundred and seventy of said chapter six is hereby repealed.
SECTION 6. The third paragraph of section 171 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the second sentence the following five sentences:- Such regulations shall, at a minimum, provide that an agency which generates evaluative information shall make such information available within a reasonable time period upon request to the individual referred to therein unless such information falls within such exemptions as the agency shall establish in said regulations. No agency shall establish an exemption for evaluative material unless disclosure of such information would pose a direct and articulable threat to the safety of any individual or the security of a correctional facility, and such threat shall have been detailed in a certificate which is kept with such evaluative information. An agency shall reply in writing, upon the request of an individual for the release of their evaluative information. Said writing shall include the agency's decision to release or withhold the evaluative information in whole or in part and a listing of all sources of origin for all evaluative information generated by the custodial agency. Any individual aggrieved by an agency's decision denying access to evaluative information may appeal the denial in writing within thirty days thereafter to the board or to a three member panel thereof, as the board may determine, and the board or such panel or any court under section one hundred and seventy-seven shall have access to any certificate.
SECTION 7. Section 172 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word, "in", in line 1, the words:- this section and.
SECTION 8. Said section 172 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out in line 27 the words:- , after consultation with the council,.
SECTION 9. Said section 172 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 39 and 40, the words, "a majority of the board, and a majority of the council, each voting as a separate body," and inserting in place thereof the following words:- the board, by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting,.
SECTION 10. The third paragraph of said section 172 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The extent of access to such information under clause (c) shall also be determined by such a two-thirds majority vote of the board.
SECTION 11. The fifth paragraph of said section 172 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following two sentences:- Except as authorized by this chapter it shall be unlawful to request or require a person to provide a copy of his criminal offender record information. At the time of making any criminal record inquiry pursuant to clause (b) or (c) of the first paragraph of this section, the party certified to receive criminal offender record information shall submit to the board an acknowledgement that such inquiry will be undertaken, signed by the person who is the subject of such inquiry on a form prepared or approved by the board.
SECTION 12. Said section 172 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the fifth paragraph the following two paragraphs:-
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the following information shall be available to any person upon request: (a) criminal offender record information consisting of conviction data; provided, however, that all requests for such conviction data shall be made to the board; and provided, further, that the board shall disclose only conviction data which it maintains in a standardized format in its automated criminal history file, and (b) information indicating custody status and placement within the correction system; provided, however, that no information shall be disclosed that identifies family members, friends, medical or psychological history, or any other personal information unless such information is directly relevant to such release or custody placement decision, and no information shall be provided if its release would violate any other provisions of state or federal law. The parole board, except as required by section one hundred and thirty of chapter one hundred and twenty-seven, the department of correction, a county correctional authority, or a probation department with the approval of a justice to the appropriate division of the trial court, may, in its discretion, make available a summary, which may include references to evaluative information, concerning a decision to release an individual on a permanent or temporary basis, to deny such release, or to change his custody status.
Information shall be provided or made available pursuant to the preceding paragraph only if the individual named in the request or summary has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of five years or more, or has been convicted of any crime and sentenced to any term of imprisonment, and at the time of the request: is serving a sentence of probation or incarceration, or is under the custody of the parole board; or having been convicted of a misdemeanor, has been released from all custody or supervision for not more than one year; or having been convicted of a felony, has been released from all custody or supervision for not more than two years; or, having been sentenced to the custody of the department of correction, has finally been discharged therefrom, either having been denied release on parole or having been returned to penal custody for violation of parole, for not more than three years. In addition to the provisions of the preceding sentence, court records for all criminal cases shall be made available for public inspection for a period of one week following conviction and imposition of sentence.
SECTION 13. Said chapter 6 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 172 the following two sections:-
Section 172A. The criminal history systems board shall assess a fee of twenty-five dollars for each request for criminal offender record information; provided, however, that such fees shall not be assessed for such requests from a victim of crime, witness, or family member of a homicide victim, all as defined by section one of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B, from an individual seeking criminal offender record information pertaining to himself, from a governmental agency, or from such other person or group of persons as the board shall exempt. All such fees shall be deposited in the general fund.
Section 172B. Notwithstanding any provision of section one hundred seventy-two of this chapter or of any other provision of law, the following information shall be available to the department of social services and the department of youth services, upon request, for the purpose of evaluating any and all foster homes and adoptive homes, whether with public or private agencies, in order to further the protection of children: conviction data, arrest data, sealed record data, and juvenile arrest or conviction data. The department of social services and the department of youth services shall not make, and shall prohibit, any dissemination of such information, for any purpose other than as set forth herein.
SECTION 14. Section 175 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
Each individual shall have the right to inspect, and if practicable, copy, criminal offender record information which refers to him. If an individual believes such information to be inaccurate or incomplete, he shall request the agency having custody or control of the records to purge, modify or supplement them. If the agency declines to so act, or if the individual believes the agency's decision to be otherwise unsatisfactory, the individual may in writing request review by the board. The board shall in each case in which it finds prima facie basis for complaint, conduct a hearing at which the individual may appear with counsel, present evidence, and examine and cross-examine witnesses. Written findings shall be issued within sixty days of receipt by the board of the request for review. Failure to issue findings shall be deemed a decision of the board. If the record in question is found to be inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, the board shall order that the record be appropriately purged, modified, or supplemented by explanatory notation. Failure of the board to act shall be deemed a decision of the board.
SECTION 15. Said chapter 6 is hereby further amended by striking out section 176, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 176. Any individual or agency aggrieved by any order or decision of the board may appeal such order or decision to the superior court in the county in which he is a resident or in which the board issued the order or decision from which the individual or agency appeals. The court shall in each such case conduct a de novo hearing, and may order such relief as it finds equitable.
SECTION 16. Section 178 of said chapter 6, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 7, the words ", the council".
SECTION 17. Said chapter 6 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 178, as so appearing, the following two sections:-
Section 178A. A victim of crime, witness, or family member of a homicide victim, all as defined by section one of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B, shall be certified by the board, upon request, to receive criminal offender record information, provided that the request for said information relates to the offense in which such person was involved. Criminal justice agencies may also disclose to such persons such additional information, including but not limited to evaluative information, as such agencies determine, in their discretion, is reasonably necessary for the security and well being of such persons.
Section 178B. The restrictions on the dissemination of criminal offender record information as provided in this chapter shall cease to exist at the death of the individual for whom a criminal justice agency has maintained criminal offender record information.
SECTION 18. Section 1 of chapter 279 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1988 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the second paragraph the following paragraph:-
When a person is sentenced by a court upon conviction of any crime, he shall be informed by the probation department on a form provided by the criminal history systems board that he will have a criminal record that may be accessible to the public under certain conditions, and of his rights pertaining thereto, as provided in sections one hundred and sixty-seven through one hundred and seventy-eight of chapter six.
SECTION 19. Section twelve of this act shall take effect on July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-two.