Filing a Complaint with OSI: The Process

When making a complaint, please provide OSI with the following information:

  • Details about the alleged incident
  • Who was involved
  • Time and place of the incident
  • Identity of any victim
  • Names of any witnesses
  • How to contact you to obtain additional information, if necessary.


Next steps: 

After receiving the complaint, the DOCCS’ Office of Special Investigations (OSI) will evaluate it to determine the best course of action. All complaints received by OSI are documented, reviewed, and processed pursuant to established procedures. Complaints are assigned or referred at the discretion of OSI, and generally fall into one of the following categories based on the nature of the allegation:

  • Assigned for an OSI investigation
  • Referred to the appropriate Central Office Division Head to handle and respond
  • Referred to a facility Superintendent or community supervision Bureau Chief for an investigation, review or other appropriate action
  • Referred to a state, local, or federal agency with jurisdiction over the subject matter.


If OSI assigns a case to investigate a complaint, the OSI investigation may include numerous investigative steps and techniques, some of which include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Interviewing the complainant, victim, and potential witnesses  
  • Collecting possible physical and documentary evidence
  • Conducting lawful searches of relevant areas and/or people
  • Subpoenaing relevant records
  • Conducting surveillance
  • Reviewing any available video or audio recordings
  • Interviewing the subject(s) of the allegations.

If the investigation establishes evidence of criminal conduct, OSI will refer the case for criminal prosecution. If there is sufficient evidence that a DOCCS’ employee engaged in misconduct in violation of a DOCCS’ policy, then OSI will refer the case to the Department’s Bureau of Labor Relations for consideration of employee disciplinary charges. OSI may also make a recommendation to the relevant Departmental program areas for consideration of a revision to a policy or procedure. At the conclusion of an investigation, OSI notifies the complainant, in writing, whether the allegation was substantiated or not by a preponderance of the evidence.