While it is obviously a help to criminals reentering society from prison to have employers limited in accessing their criminal histories, it is not good public safety policy, as the more transparency there is—in all things related to public policy—the better.
An excerpt from the Boston Globe article discussing this.
“The state Senate plans to vote today on wide-ranging criminal justice legislation that would make it easier for inmates to get jobs after their release from prison, a change that Deval Patrick promoted during his campaign for governor.
“The 30-page bill - which loosens the state’s criminal offender record information system, or CORI - has been pushed by advocates, who argue that former prisoners are often unable to get work because potential employers check their records and refuse to hire them.
“The legislation would limit employers’ access to the criminal record of potential employees. A separate provision would let nonviolent drug offenders apply for parole before serving the minimum amount of time required for the crime under stringent drug laws. Currently, those inmates cannot apply for parole until after they have reached that threshold.”