Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
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Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

Overview

The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the New York State Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions.

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including but not limited to reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Learn more about records access and Open FOIL NY.

If you would like your records from this agency, you may not have to file a FOIL request.

  • The DOCCS website offers a wealth of information that may be useful for those looking to obtain agency records. For example, certain DOCCS directives, legislative reports, and fact sheets are available for review by the public. 
  • Department Data and Statistics provides access to Department data and statistics
  • Requests for criminal history information/RAP sheets should be directed to New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services.

FOIL does not handle requests to access an incarcerated individual's medical records under Public Health Law 18, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or Health Service Policy 4.10. Requests for medical records should be directed to the Facility Medical Director.

To learn more about access to records for an upcoming Board of Parole interview, Administrative Appeal, or Revocation Hearing (9 NYCRR § 8000.5), view New York State Rules and Regulations.

To find out more about accessing records for a Sex Offender Revocation Act Hearing, see pages 30 and 31 of the Guidelines.

Request Records

FILE an open foil request

Submit written requests to:

Mail
Records Access Officer
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Harriman State Campus
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2050

E-Mail 

[email protected]

Fax

518-453-8474

FOIL Process

Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send a letter either making such record available, denying such request in writing, or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request.

If you do not receive a letter within five business days, please contact us at 518-457-0176 or [email protected].

Please be advised that all electronic Freedom of Information requests are determined to have been received on the first normal business day after such requests are submitted.

If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:

  • an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record(s) requested.
  • the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.

Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email, fax, paper, CD/DVD, or USB.

Records are available for inspection, by appointment, on business days between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Records Access Office, Harriman State Campus, Building 9, 1220 Washington Avenue in Albany.

You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling 518-457-0176.

Appealing FOIL Determinations

Under provisions of the Public Officers Law, you may appeal a FOIL determination. If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within 30 days of the written response to your FOIL request.

Please include a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter you received along with your appeal letter to:

Michelle Liberty
Records Appeal Officer
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Harriman State Campus
1220 Washington Avenue 
Albany, NY 12226

You will be informed in writing of the decision within 10 business days of receipt of such an appeal. Please indicate the FOIL Request Number when corresponding on this subject.

Subject Matter List & Directive

DOCCS maintains a current list of records, by subject matter. Some of these records may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

View Subject Matter List


View DOCCS Directive 2010

Helpful Tips

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s website.


When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Please be as specific as possible in describing the requested records and include relevant dates, names, and locations. Where the requested records pertain to a particular incarcerated individual, include the DIN and/or NYSID number, if possible.
  • Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
  • If records are available, specify whether you want them sent via US mail, e-mail or fax. DOCCS may choose to send the records, or volume of records, by U.S. mail for security or other reasons and will notify you of any charges for reproducing such records before they are sent.
  • Please include your e-mail, mailing address, fax number, and a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours in case it is necessary to clarify your request.
  • Please note that DOCCS is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.