Criminal System Involvement


People acquitted of crimes in MA can have their criminal records automatically sealed.

Last-reviewed: 3pm, Nov. 21, 2023

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • People with upcoming court dates can sign up for eReminder notifications with the date, time, and location of their next scheduled court appearance. Flyers about the new e-Reminder service are available in multiple languages here.
  • Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts has an online library of self-help materials on a range of topics to help incarcerated people.

The Breakdown

  • The MA Supreme Judicial Court decided to make sealing of criminal records mandatory where a person has been acquitted of a crime in Massachusetts. Read more about this decision here.
  • The Healey-Driscoll Administration introduces an enhanced process for the Massachusetts ID Card Program for citizens being released from the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Read more information here.
  • The website added a Petition for Expungement of Marijuana Offenses Form. This form allows you to ask a judge to permanently destroy, or “expunge,” the official court records of marijuana offense(s) if the amount of marijuana involved has now been decriminalized. More information on this form here.
  • Individuals with loved ones in custody at a sheriff-run local jail or house of correction should contact the location-specific office for visitation information.
  • Individuals can communicate with loved ones who are incarcerated by setting up a prepaid video visitation account with Securus.
  • The CORI and Re-entry Project at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) has online CORI sealing materials and offers a Virtual CORI Sealing Clinic on the 2nd Wednesday every month from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The Clinic provides low-income community members with free legal information about their rights and assists eligible community members with sealing and expunging their records. Register for a CORI Sealing Clinic here. People can also go in person to the Roxbury courthouse, 65 Warren St., 2nd Floor, on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 9am to noon.
  • Lawyers Clearinghouse has partnered with the City of Boston, Codman Square NDC, and Urban Edge to provide free, virtual CORI sealing clinics to community members who need assistance in sealing or expunging their Massachusetts-based CORI. Signing up can be done online.
  • Massachusetts has taken a step toward reforming criminal justice laws by eliminating monthly supervision fees, administrative probation fees, and victim services surcharges fees. Learn about probation fees that are eligible to be refunded here.

The Bottom Line

  • People seeking help with incarcerated loved ones can find self-help materials online or can call Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts.