The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access 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.
If you would like to request your New York State criminal history, view the DCJS Record Review process and instructions.
Use the Open FOIL NY Online Form
Mail a written request to:
Records Access Office
NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
Alfred E. Smith Building
80 South Swan Street
Albany, New York 12210
E-mail a written request to: [email protected]
Fax a written request to: (518) 457-2416
Submit a request for records in person:
Pursuant to DCJS regulation, DCJS shall accept written requests for the inspection and copying of records during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., excluding holidays). Records shall be made available for public inspection and copying at the DCJS offices at the following address:
Division of Criminal Justice Services
Alfred E. Smith Building
80 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12210
Please be advised that records require review prior to disclosure. As a result, documents and records will not be immediately available.
Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you 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 have not received a letter within five business days, please contact us at [email protected].
An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors.
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 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 request;
the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
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. – 5 p.m. at the Records Access Office, Alfred E. Smith Building, 80 South Swan Street, Albany, New York 12210. You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling (518) 457-8413.
Right to Appeal
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:
Counsel, Division of Criminal Justice Services
80 South Swan Street
Albany, New York 12210
You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal.
Subject Matter List
The Division’s Subject Matter Listing of Records contains a current list by subject matter of all records in the possession of the Division, whether or not available under the Freedom of Information Law. This list is updated annually in March.
A schedule of public meetings, which includes meeting agendas and documents to be discussed, is available on the DCJS website.
Meetings also are streamed live to the extent practical and a video recording of each meeting is posted within two business days of the meeting date for a period of 30 days.
Documents, Forms, Publications, Reports and Statistics
Many documents, forms and reports used, maintained or published by the Division of Criminal Justice Services are posted to the DCJS website. Prior to filing a FOIL request, please consider consulting this list and reviewing the links that follow to determine whether the document or information you seek is among those listed.
If you are a member of the media, you also may contact the DCJS Public Information Office at [email protected] or (518) 457-8828 to learn whether information you seek, particularly statistical data, may be available without a FOIL.
- Annual Reports and Required Publications Includes current and archived publications and reports on topics including domestic violence, hate crimes, law enforcement accreditation, asset forfeiture and juvenile justice
- Criminal Justice Directory
- Criminal Justice Statistics Includes reported crime, including hate crimes and domestic violence victim data, arrest statistics and disposition information, in addition to a variety of juvenile justice data
- Drug Law Reform Reports and Presentations Includes reports and presentations details trends as a result of changes made in 2007 to the state's drug laws
- Doing Business with DCJS Includes forms and manuals about the procurement process in addition to information about the state's Minority and Women-Owned Business initiative
- Ignition Interlock Device Program Information Includes regulations and laws regarding the use of ignition interlock devices, vendors approved to do business in New York State, the type of interlock devices available and the county-by-county list of ignition interlock device monitors
- Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Program Includes the Accreditation Program Standards Manual, forms and other documents for agencies seeking to accreditation
- Police and Peace Officer Training Includes minimum requirements for police officers, training guides for police, peace and correction officer basic training, medical and physical standards and procedures for police officer candidate
- Probation Rules and Regulations Rules and regulations pertaining to county probation departments
- New York State Forensic Laboratory Report Standardization Manual Details standardized guidelines for the wording of laboratory reports from forensic laboratories accredited by New York State
- Security Guard Training Includes information about mandated training courses, a list of schools approved to provide training, regulations and applications
- Sex Offender Statistics Includes county-by-county statistics on the number of sex offenders, by risk level, in each county
- Uniform Crime Reporting and Incident Based Crime Reporting Programs for Law Enforcement Includes reference materials, crime reporting alerts, training modules and videos, and forms and publications to assist agencies in sending crime data to the state
For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s website.
When submitting a FOIL request:
- Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc. See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.
- Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
- If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via US mail, e-mail or fax. We may choose to send the records by U.S. mail, if you have requested a large volume of records, for security or other important reasons. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.
- Include your e-mail, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.
- Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.