Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (FOI Act) provides members of the public with a legally enforceable right of access to information held by agencies, subject to specific exemptions. Under Section 9 of the FOI Act, State Government agencies must publish an up-to-date information statement every 12 months. Information statements must be published in the agency’s annual report, on a website maintained by the agency, or both.

Structures and functions of DCS

The structures and functions of DCS are available on this website.

An overview of the reporting lines of responsibility can also be found here or in the DCS annual reports.

Functions of DCS affecting the public

The department’s work directly impacts on the public by securely and humanely managing people ordered by the Courts to serve a community based or prison sanction, and to provide them with opportunities to lead law abiding lives.

DCS also contributes to a safer community by working in partnership with other criminal justice organisations and the community to prevent crime and reduce repeat offending.

Public participation in policy development

Public consultation is undertaken when it is deemed appropriate to engage the public in the formulation of specific policy.

Description of the kinds of documents held by DCS

Documents retained by DCS fall broadly into the categories of corporate files containing correspondence, minutes and memoranda; policies, procedures, instructions and guidelines prescribing the way various activities are to be performed; personnel files relating to departmental employees; strategic and business plans, reports, contracts and agreements; accounting and financial records; and prisoner and offender records.

The listing of these categories does not necessarily imply that all documents falling into the categories are accessible in full or in part under the FOI Act.

Applying for documents held by DCS

Pursuant to section 13 of the FOI Act, applications to access documents held by DCS must:

  • Be in writing
  • Specify that they are made under the FOI Act
  • Provide sufficient detail to enable the document to be identified
  • Show an Australian address for the service of notices
  • Be accompanied by the prescribed application fee ($35.00).

Section 53(2a) of the FOI Act provides for fees and charges to be waived in certain circumstances.

A Freedom of Information Application for access to documents is available here.

Printable: FOI Application form - Community Clients and Public 2018 (PDF 113 KB)

Applying to Amend Personal Records held by DCS

Pursuant to section 31 of the FOI Act, applications to amend documents containing the person’s personal affairs must:

  • Be in writing
  • Specify that they are made under the FOI Act
  • Provide sufficient detail to enable the document to be identified (attach a copy)
  • Show an Australian address for the service of notices
  • Must specify why the information in the document is incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading
  • Must be accompanied by providing the information required to bring the document up-to-date

The Online Application form to Amend Record can be found here.

Printable: Amendment of Personal Records Form (PDF 85 KB)

Internal Review of an FOI Determination from DCS

The FOI Act allows the applicant to seek an Internal Review of a decision made by DCS in relation to documents where access has been refused or released in part, or for any other reason the applicant is aggrieved by the determination.

Online Application for Internal Review
Printable Application for Internal Review Form (PDF 84 KB)
Printable Application about Appeals form: (PDF 188 KB)

Assistance in applying for documents held by DCS

Printable DCS Information (PDF 27 KB)
Printable State Records Information

Contact the FOI Unit:    
Department for Correctional Services
GPO Box 1747
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Telephone: 8226 9324 or 8226 9124
Email: dcsreleaseofinformation@sa.gov.au