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Ombuds

The Governor’s Office of Corrections Ombuds (OCO) is now fully staffed and operational. Please contact the OCO directly at Office of Corrections Ombuds, PO 43113, Olympia, WA 98504 or call toll-free (360) 664-4749.


The Governor’s Office of Corrections Ombuds (OCO) is now fully staffed and operational. The Department of Corrections’ internal ombuds will stop accepting new complaints on Friday, April 5, 2019.

Submitted complaints and Ombuds Review Request forms received before April 5 will be reviewed and answered by the agency’s internal ombuds. Complaints received after that date will be returned to the complainant.

In line with this announcement, facilities will remove Form 05-830 Ombuds Review Request from the state libraries and visit rooms. For information on how to contact the OCO directly, please refer to the posters in your living unit or contact Office of Corrections Ombuds, PO 43113, Olympia, WA 98504 or call toll-free 360.664.4749, a confidential phone line not monitored by the DOC.

The Ombuds serves as an impartial, neutral party who may investigate concerns/complaints submitted by citizens, individuals under Department jurisdiction, and their families if the issue was not satisfactorily resolved through available appeals processes.

Submit a Concern/Complaint

Jurisdiction

(Tim Kelly , DOC Communications)

The Ombuds serves as a resource for concerned citizens, individuals under Department jurisdiction, and their families to submit a concern/complaint of 1) Non-compliance of Department policies, Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and state or federal laws that have not been satisfactorily addressed through lower-level processes or appeals, and 2) The endangered health or safety of an individual under the jurisdiction of the Department or a visitor to a Department facility.

The Ombuds may also initiate an investigation for any reason including any concern/complaint received or perceived issue regarding the Department's procedures with impact to individuals under the Department's jurisdiction.

The Ombuds does not represent an additional step in the exhaustion process for the purposes of initiating litigation, or serve as a resource for employees, contract staff, or volunteers who should submit concerns/complaints through their chain of command per Department procedures.

Before Filing a Complaint

Individuals must attempt to resolve complaints at the lowest level possible (e.g., contact appropriate employees, grievance/appeal process) before submitting a concern/complaint to the Ombuds.

However, If an incarcerated individual is under imminent danger of serious physical injury or harm, and s/he believes the Department has not properly considered his/her emergency grievance, the complaint may be submitted to the Ombuds at the same time an emergency grievance appeal is submitted per DOC Policy 550.100 Offender Grievance ProgramAdobe PDF File.

How to Submit a Concern/Complaint

Submitted complaints and Ombuds Review Request forms received before April 5, 2019 will be reviewed and answered by the agency’s internal ombuds. Complaints received after that date will be returned to the complainant.

Contact Office of Corrections Ombuds, PO 43113, Olympia, WA 98504 or call toll-free 360.664.4749, a confidential phone line not monitored by the DOC.

Resources

Policies

Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) policies that apply to Ombuds.

Publications

Resource Links