Independent Corrections Ombuds

The Need for Oversight in Corrections

Washington’s state prisons confine almost 17,000 people and are largely closed to the public, with very few outsiders permitted behind the prison walls. This lack of oversight and transparency means that people in prison are often overlooked, neglected, or even placed in dangerous conditions.

With more than 95% of the state’s prison population expected to release back to our communities, monitoring and improving prison conditions and services protects inmates’ rights, reduces recidivism, avoids costly litigation, and ultimately makes our communities safer. It is time to create an independent corrections ombuds.

Act Now

  • SB 5465, creating an office of the corrections ombuds, had a hearing in the House Committee on Public Safety on March 21, 2017. The bill is scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Public Safety at March 28, 2017 at 1:30pm.
  • You can receive emails with news about this legislative initiative, as well as DRW's other projects, sent to you directly by signing up for DRW's Action Alerts.

More Information

DRW has joined with other stakeholders to create a Coalition for an Independent Corrections Ombuds, to push for legislation in the 2017 session that would establish a corrections ombuds office in our state. Learn more about the Guiding Principles for the Coalition, and show your support by becoming a member of the Coalition for an Independent Corrections Ombuds.

The Need for Oversight in Corrections - Text Only
The Need for Oversight in Corrections [PDF]


Contact Rachael Seevers, Staff Attorney with DRW's AVID Prison Project:

More about the AVID Prison Project

Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness - Multimedia Report
Making Hard Time Harder: Programmatic Accommodations for Inmates with Disabilities Under the Americans with Disabilities Act - Multimedia Report
AVID Prison Project page