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.

Disability Rights Washington has joined with other stakeholders to create a Coalition for an Independent Corrections Ombuds, to push for legislation in the 2018 session that would establish a corrections ombuds office in our state.