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Pace Law Review
Volume 30
Issue 5 Fall 2010
Opening Up a Closed World: A Sourcebook on
Prison Oversight

Article 21

11-18-2010

Independent Correctional Oversight Mechanisms
Across the United States: A 50-State Inventory
Michele Deitch
University of Texas

Recommended Citation
Michele Deitch, Independent Correctional Oversight Mechanisms Across the United States: A 50-State
Inventory, 30 Pace L. Rev. 1754 (2010)
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the School of Law at DigitalCommons@Pace. It has been accepted for inclusion in Pace Law
Review by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@Pace. For more information, please contact rracelis@pace.edu.

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Independent Correctional Oversight
Mechanisms Across the United States:
A 50-State Inventory
Michele Deitch•

Senior Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin-Lyndon B. Johnson
School of Public Affairs and the University of Texas School of Law. B.A.,
Amherst College; M.Sc., Oxford University; J.D., Harvard Law School. I am
grateful to the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation for awarding
me a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship to support my research on the subject of
correctional oversight.
This report was originally prepared as a research project conducted by
University of Texas graduate students in my interdisciplinary seminar on
Prisons and Human Rights during the spring of 2006. The original research
for and drafting of the 2006 report was done by: Michelle Burman (School of
Social Work), Courtney Chavez (School of Law), Genesis Draper (School of
Law), Raenetta Nance (Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs), Emily
Sitton (School of Law), Tammy Vega (Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs), and William Vetter (Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs). The
original draft report was presented to participants in the ―Opening Up a
Closed World: What Constitutes Effective Prison Oversight?‖ conference held
at the University of Texas in April 2006. The report has since been significantly restructured and updated. I am grateful to William Vetter, Amanda
Barstow, and Rex Baker for their research assistance in updating the report.
My student researchers and I would like to thank all the experts around
the country who helped in the development of this document by sharing with
us their knowledge, ideas, suggestions, and comments. Special thanks are
due to representatives of the Departments of Corrections in each state, various advocacy groups, and state legislative staff members, who were especially
instrumental in the information-gathering stages of this endeavor. While
space does not allow us to thank you all by name, please know how much
your contributions are appreciated. At the same time, I want to remind readers that any errors and inconsistencies remaining in this report are the responsibility of the author alone. Although the research team strived for
accuracy and completeness, in a project of this magnitude, there will invariably be inadvertent errors and omissions, not to mention changing circumstances. I would be grateful if readers could bring the need for corrections to
my attention so I can maintain as accurate and comprehensive a database as
possible
going
forward.
I
may
be
contacted
at:
michele.deitch@mail.utexas.edu.

1754

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I. Introduction
A. Purpose of Report
This state-by-state inventory of independent oversight mechanisms for correctional institutions was initiated to provide a
baseline understanding about the extent of such oversight in
the United States. This project was a monumental undertaking as
it involved identification and analysis of prison and jail oversight
mechanisms in all 50 states and the federal system. This information has never been compiled previously.
The report was originally created in 2006 for a conference
held at the University of Texas at Austin called ―Opening Up a
Closed World: What Constitutes Effective Prison Oversight?”
and in conjunction with a seminar class titled Prisons and
Human Rights at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. It has since been
significantly restructured and updated. The purpose of this report is to provide a quick reference guide for those stakeholders
interested in models of prison and jail oversight, and to show
major gaps in the systems we have in the United States for
monitoring prison and jail conditions and the treatment of
prisoners.
It is important to note upfront that our inclusion of an entity in this report does not in any way reflect our judgment upon
the quality of that organization‘s work in this arena. We were
not seeking to be evaluative but comprehensive in our approach. This inventory is meant to be a starting point for discussion rather than an endorsement of any particular approach
to correctional oversight. We hope that this report will provide
readers with a starting place for information about prison and jail
oversight in their own state, and that it will inspire some creative
thinking about the various ways in which oversight mechanisms can
be structured.
B. Methodology
Scope of project. Our primary focus in this report was
oversight bodies operating at a statewide level, whether they
had responsibility for prisons (operated by the state) or jails

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(operated by local government). The scope of the project did
not allow for us to systematically identify all entities set up at
the local level to provide oversight of that locality‘s jail and
other lock-up facilities. However, we learned of some local jail
oversight bodies in the course of our research and provide
whatever information we can about these bodies in the report.
Data collection. In order to collect information, we began
by canvassing state Departments of Correction, state legislative offices, and various advocacy groups in each state. We expanded our search using information and referrals provided by
these sources, and of course extensive online research. Research was structured in this way because there exists no
standard entity or organization that has oversight responsibilities, a factor that has obviously limited our ability to be as
comprehensive as we would like. Much of the research presented here is based on whether we were able to contact someone in the state with specific knowledge about this issue.
Therefore, although we aimed for accuracy, there are no guarantees that the information in the report is complete. A draft
of this document was provided to participants in the University
of Texas conference, and state sections were shared with colleagues in particular states. We made changes and corrections
suggested by these readers, but we retain responsibility for all
errors in the report.
Definitions. The concept of prison oversight is a new one for
many practitioners and it is far from a term of art that is universally
understood by stakeholders in each state. In the course of our research, it became clear that each of the 50 states employed a
form of oversight unique to local context. Therefore, we had to
set guidelines as to what forms of oversight to include in the
report. In order to qualify, an organization had to fit the following criteria:
1. Independence. For prisons, the oversight entity had to
be separate from the Department of Corrections
(―DOC‖)1 for which it has oversight responsibilities. For
the purposes of this report, ―independence‖ means that

1. Although this report refers to ―Departments of Correction,‖ that term
is meant to include any state corrections agency regardless of its formal
name.

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the entity neither reports solely to the DOC (or its
board), nor receives its funding from the DOC. It also
means that the entity cannot be staffed primarily with
DOC employees. Almost all DOCs have an internal investigation arm—such as an ombudsperson, an internal
affairs office, or an inspector general—but we included
only those that are located outside the structure of the
DOC. Similarly, most prison agencies have internal auditing divisions that provide management with regular
reports on the quality of operations, such as an operational review unit or a contracts monitoring division.
While such internal accountability measures are extremely important, they do not constitute external oversight and so they are not included in this report. To the
extent that the DOC has oversight responsibilities for
local jails, however, we considered the DOC to be an independent oversight body as long as the Department
does not operate those jails (i.e., it could not be a unified
correctional system).
2. Oversight. The function that the organization performs
must be primarily related to either investigation of
wrongdoing or monitoring of conditions in prisons or
jails. Many states have governmental bodies that provide some function relating to prisons and correctional
policy. We chose to include those that provide oversight
of prisons with regard to the conditions faced by the
prisoners, the state of the facilities, the quality of services provided to inmates, or the physical operations of
the institutions. We did not include those with a primary focus on population management or prison construction. Similarly, all of the states had a legislative
committee charged to some degree with the oversight of
corrections (and often having the word ―oversight‖ in
their name), but we included only those that are routinely involved in a ―hands-on‖ fashion (not an occasional informational visit to a facility), and that are not
restricted to research and legislation. Moreover, most
states have an auditing body that reviews all government agencies within the state on a regular basis, but if
the function of that audit is primarily financial or man-

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agement performance, or if reviews of the prison agency
are relatively infrequent (every several years), we did
not include the agency. In some rare instances, we
found general government auditing bodies that had unusual levels of emphasis on prison conditions, and we
did include these entities. Finally, we excluded courtappointed monitors, given that they are not intended to
be permanently established oversight entities.
3. Access. To be included in this report, an entity had to
have formal access to correctional facilities. We defined
―access‖ both in terms of the type of access that organizations had to prisons, as well as the frequency and regularity with which they used that access. We chose to
include organizations that had free access to prisons at
any time—a ―golden key‖—as well as scheduled or
somewhat restricted access to the entire facility. We excluded any organization that did not have a formal right
of access to facilities (e.g., by statute) or an informal but
well-established practice of conducting such visits with
the agreement of the DOC. We chose not to include organizations that only have the right to visit prisoners
―one-on-one,‖ much like an attorney-client visit. Thus,
we did not include the many dedicated prisoners‘ rights
organizations and human rights groups around the
country that serve a watchdog function and monitor
prison conditions through their contacts with prisoners.
If a particular organization did not fit these specific criteria, but otherwise warranted our attention, we mention it briefly in the state-by-state write-ups, but we do not highlight it on
the charts or with a specific detailed entry in the state sections.
It was a challenge both to operationalize the notion of prison oversight in this way, and to identify entities serving (or appearing to serve) an oversight function. In the ―real world,‖
programs do not come with labels on them, and even when they
do have labels, names of entities and their functions do not always match. This project involved a great deal of fitting
―square peg‖ entities into ―round hole‖ categories. We hope our
characterizations of various entities correctly capture their
functions and structure.

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C. Structure of Report
Section 1: Correctional Oversight National Charts.
The first section of the report displays the nationwide results of
our research in table format. Table 1 (―Models of Formal, External Prison Oversight‖) is a 50-state table presenting the
types of independent prison oversight used in each state, according to the above qualifications. Table 2 (―Models of Formal,
External Jail Oversight‖) provides a 50-state summary of jail
oversight bodies that operate at a statewide level. (To the extent we identified local jail oversight bodies, those entities are
also listed in this table.)
Section 2: State Summaries. The second section of this
report provides an overview and detailed description of the correctional oversight mechanisms we identified in each state.
Each state page begins with a chart depicting the oversight
entities in that state and their functions, organized as follows:
1. Facility. This column indicates the type of facilities (or
facility) monitored by the oversight entity: ―prisons
statewide,‖ ―jails statewide,‖ or ―single jail.‖ ―Single
jail‖ can also refer to a number of jail facilities in a single county.
2. Oversight Function. This column indicates whether an
oversight entity strictly investigates prisoner complaints against a facility or staff member (―investigatory‖), or whether it monitors a facility regularly to
identify possible problems (―preventative‖). In some
cases, an entity is responsible for both an investigation
and a monitoring function, and so both columns are
checked. However, we did not check the ―investigatory‖
column if that function is incidental to or supportive of
the entity‘s primary monitoring role.
3. Monitoring. This column indicates the context in which
an oversight entity monitors a facility. ―Routine‖ monitoring indicates scheduled or required monitoring, while
―if needed‖ indicates an external motivator, such as a
complaint, precipitating the monitoring of a facility.
4. Issues covered. This column indicates whether the oversight entity (a) monitors prisons as it does all other government entities, such as through an auditing or

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performance management process (―general government‖); (b) monitors all aspects of conditions related to
prisons or jails (―general corrections‖); (c) performs a limited oversight function, such as responding to prisoner
grievances (―limited‖) or reviewing staff investigations
of wrongdoing or disciplinary actions taken; or (d) performs oversight with regard to one issue in the facility,
such as health care delivery or the provision of mental
health services (―single issue‖). If an entity performs
―general corrections‖ oversight, we assume that it also
provides ―limited‖ and ―single issue‖ oversight and we
did not check those columns.
5. Access. This column indicates whether an organization
has ―golden key‖ access (right of free access at anytime,
unannounced), or restricted access (access that is limited in some way, but that still falls within our definition of ―access‖ in this report). It is worth noting that
not every organization that has the right to ―golden key‖
access takes advantage of this free access; many of them
rely upon scheduled inspections.
6. Inspectors. This column indicates whether those conducting inspections are laypeople (citizens/volunteers)
or professionals (full-time employees) in the field for
which they are inspecting. In some cases, the line between these categories is blurry, such as when law enforcement officials are tapped to conduct these
inspections. When in doubt, we categorized inspectors
as professionals, and reserved the ―lay‖ category for instances where the entity specifically notes that citizens
are tapped to conduct inspections or provide input into
correctional decisions. In some instances, the inspection
team includes both professional experts and citizens,
and thus both categories are marked.
It is important to interpret these individual state charts in
light of the overview and organizational descriptions that follow the charts. It is often the case that an entity that has the
oversight authority depicted in the chart does not in fact exercise its authority as fully as the chart might suggest. It is also
worth emphasizing that completing these charts is far from a
science, and we often had to make assumptions and judgment

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calls in deciding how to characterize a particular feature of an
oversight organization. The checkmarks in the columns are
best thought of as guidelines for interpreting how the oversight
body works.
Following the individual state chart, we provide a brief
overview of the extent of oversight in the state. Occasionally,
we may reference an entity that does not fit our overall criteria
for inclusion in the charts as a form of oversight, but that we
find worthy of mention nevertheless. We also try to mention
forms of correctional oversight that previously existed but that
are no longer operational.
Next, we provide contact information and detailed descriptions for each of the organizations included in the charts.
Under federal law, every state in the country has a designated Protection and Advocacy agency for mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and physically disabled persons in that
state.2 These agencies are authorized under the Protection and
Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program
and the Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) program, both created by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act of
1975, and reauthorized under the DD Act of 2000.3 Agencies
designated under this program are charged with advocating for
the rights of mentally ill and disabled individuals and are provided with access to any institution in which they are housed,
including correctional facilities. Because of this extraordinary
level of authorized access to correctional facilities, our state
summaries identify the protection and advocacy organization in
the state, regardless of whether that organization in fact makes
advocacy for prisoners a priority. However, we only include
these entities in the individual state chart if the organization
clearly makes inspections of prisons a priority task or if it has
some particular oversight responsibility pursuant to a court order, for example. In fact, the vast majority of protection and
advocacy organizations do not take advantage of their access to

2. Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act of
2000, Pub. L. No. 106-402, 114 Stat. 1678 (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C.
§§ 15001-15083 (2006)).
3. Id.

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prisons and jails unless they happen to have an individual
client who is housed there.
D. Conclusion
Although this report is thick with examples of entities that
perform (or have the authority to perform) some kind of oversight function, it should be clear upon closer examination that
formal and comprehensive external oversight—in the form of
inspections and routine monitoring of conditions that affect the
rights of prisoners—is truly rare in this country. Even more
elusive are forms of oversight that seek to promote both public
transparency of correctional institutions and accountability for
the protection of human rights.
Correctional institutions demand both transparency and
accountability. They exercise enormous power over the lives
and well-being of individuals, yet they operate entirely outside
the public eye. Oversight mechanisms are essential if we are to
have confidence in the operations of these facilities and if we
are to know what is being done in our names. If they operate
effectively, these oversight bodies serve to challenge the status
quo, to identify areas for improvement, and to provide a vehicle
for prisoners to ensure that their concerns are brought to light.
By creating this work, we hope to spark debate and discussion regarding the extent of prison oversight in the United
States and the sufficiency of the existing resources employed in
each state. We also hope to inspire creative thinking about
ways that existing oversight mechanisms can be strengthened
and used as models for other jurisdictions.4

4. Editor’s Note: This 50-State Inventory is designed to be accessible to
those both inside and outside of the legal academic community. As such,
sources have been formatted according to the author‘s preference.

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SECTION 1:
CORRECTIONAL
OVERSIGHT
NATIONAL CHARTS

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Table 1 below presents the independent prison oversight entities
that exist in each state. As discussed above, we list only those entities that are external to the prison agency, that have formal access to
the prison facilities, and that have an oversight function primarily related to either investigation of wrongdoing or monitoring of conditions
in prisons. Each oversight body was characterized as a particular
type of oversight, and in deciding how to categorize a particular entity, we looked more to the function served and the tasks performed by
the entity than to its name. The organizational categories we use in
this report are defined as follows:
1.

Governmental Agency or Commission. A governmental agency or
commission is a standing entity external to the DOC with statutory responsibility for oversight of state prisons. This entity has
authority to report on prison conditions and, in some cases, may
be able to sanction offending institutions.

2.

Ombudsperson. An ombudsperson investigates complaints about
misconduct or problematic conditions in the state‘s corrections
system (and in some cases, in other government agencies as
well). The ombudsperson may be attached to a state‘s DOC, but
if so, that office must report to the legislature or another body
external to the DOC to be included in our report.

3.

Inspector General. An inspector general investigates criminal
wrongdoing and other serious forms of misconduct in an agency,
and may also be tapped to identify systemic areas of concern in
agency operations. We included Inspectors General only if they
were entirely independent of the DOC or the governing board.
They may have responsibility for departments other than corrections, but they must provide oversight as defined above.

4.

Legislative Committee with Inspection Responsibilities. While recognizing that every state legislature will have committees that
deal with prison-related issues, we limited inclusion in this category to those legislative correctional committees that play an
active oversight role that goes well beyond the passage of legislation affecting correctional agencies and the review of population management issues. We sought to include only those
legislative committees that focus on conditions in correctional
facilities and the treatment of prisoners. Such oversight commit-

11

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1765

tees will typically have regular access to correctional facilities
and may also have specific responsibilities with regard to inspections.
5.

Advocacy Group with Formal Right of Access. An advocacy group
with oversight authority was defined as a non-governmental organization that has a mandate, legislative authorization, or routine agency permission to inspect, monitor, or otherwise provide
a kind of formal oversight over prisons or jails. These entities
have a formal right of access to correctional facilities. Access to
the facilities may be restricted in some way, but the access provided goes beyond the simple ability to visit inmates in visiting
areas of the facility.

6.

Citizens’ Board or Advisory Committee. A citizens‘ board or advisory committee is an entity appointed by, for example, the governor, with responsibility for investigating or providing feedback
about specific or general aspects of the operations of a state correctional system or for a particular facility. It provides a form of
outside lay scrutiny of the prison or jail conditions or operations,
and the committee reports on its findings and conclusions to the
appointing body. Typically, the recommendations of this body
are advisory in nature.

7.

General Government Auditing Body. A general government auditing body refers to an agency in state government designed to
conduct performance audits or reviews of a wide variety of state
agencies, not just the corrections department. These auditing
bodies typically audit each state agency on a regular schedule
(usually every several years), and the scope of that review will
vary tremendously from state to state, or even from audit to audit. These reviews provide objective input on various managerial, operational, or fiscal issues, but rarely emphasize the
treatment of prisoners. More often, the focus is on efficiency or
cost-effectiveness of current practices. These auditing bodies
usually have free access to correctional facilities, but in most
cases they do not take advantage of such access. We included
only those auditing bodies that appear to place an unusual emphasis upon prison conditions or those that conduct more routine inspections of prison facilities.

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8.

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Protection and Advocacy Organization with Focus on Prison Issues. Protection and advocacy organizations refer to those entities designated as a state‘s protection and advocacy agency
under federal law. These organizations have a statutory right of
access into any institution—including a prison or jail—that
holds persons with mental illness and disabilities whose rights
are possibly being violated. Each protection and advocacy organization sets its annual priorities and, for most of these organizations, prison-related issues are not a primary focus and they
do not take advantage of their right of access. The protection
and advocacy organizations listed in this table are those that indicate that issues related to mentally ill or disabled prisoners
are a high-priority issue and that monitor conditions for their
clients in these facilities.

13

Protectioa aDd
Citizens
Advocacy Group
General
Advocaey
Ia.peetor
Committee
Boanlor
Agea<yor Ombud.penoa
with Right of
Govemmeut Organizatioa witb
General witb Iaspectioa
Advisory
A.....
Commission
Aaditiag Body Focus on Prison
RespoasibUities
Committee
Issaes
Legislative

Govemmental
STATE

OOicc of the
Ombudsman

Alaska

Disahility Law Center
of Alaska

Arizona
Arkansas
Omee of SCXLL\t1
Abuse in Detention

CaJlfornla

Elimination
OnhudSfli."rson

Office of the
Inspector
General

Little Hoover
COllunission
Legal Center for People
with Disabilities and
Older People

Colorado

50-STATE INVENTORY

Alabama

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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TABLE I: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL PRISON OVERSIGHT

Connecticut
Delaware

Ddaware
Council on
Correction

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[)claw3fl: Criminal
Justice Council

14

STATE

Florida D~p:utlllt:l1l
of Health,
Com:ctional
r.h:dical Authority

Florida

Georgia
Hawaii

001c,-, orlll.::
Ombudsman

Idaho
John Howard
Association for Prison
Rcfonll

"linois

I~.

Office of Citizen's
Aide/Ombudsman

Kansas

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Indiana
Ombudsman
Bureau

[Vol. 30:5

Indiana

Indiana Stale
Department of
Health
Health Care
Regul1ltory Services
Commission, Acute
Care Division

PACE LAW REVIEW

Protection and
Legiolative
Citizens
Governmental
Advocacy Group
General
Advocacy
Inspector
Committee
Board or
All<Dcyor Ombudspenon
Government Organization witb
with Ript of
with
Inspection
Advisory
General
Commission
Access
Anditing Body FGalI on PrilOD
ResponsibUities
Committee
Issues

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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TABLE 1: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL PRISON OVERSIGHT

15

STATE

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine State
Prison Board
of Visitors

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Office of Program
Evaluation and
GovenlIuenl
Accountability

Commission on
Correctional
Standards
i\Iassachllsctts
Correctional Legal
Services

Disabled Persons
Protection
Commission

50-STATE INVENTORY

Protection and
Legiolative
Citizens
Governmental
Advocacy Group
General
Advocacy
Inspector
Committee
Board or
All<Dcyor Ombudspenon
Government Organization witb
with Ript of
with
Inspection
Advisory
General
Commission
Access
Anditing Body FGalI on PrilOD
ResponsibUities
Committee
Issues

r-,Iichigan omce of r-.Iichigan Protection &
the Auditor General Advocacy Service, (ne

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Joint Committee on
Perfonnunce
Evaluation and
Expenditure Review

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i\lInn{'Sola

Mississippi

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TABLE 1: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL PRISON OVERSIGHT

16

STATE

Joint Legislative
Committee on
Corrections

Missouri

Corrections
Advisory
Council

Montana

Nl.'braska

Citizens
Advisory
Committee

Ombudsman-Olliee
orllle Public
Council!
Ombudsman for
Corrections

Ne'"ada
Citizens
Advisory
Committees

New Hampshire

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New !\1("xico

Department of the
Public Advocate
Office of
Corrections
Ombudsman

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New .Jersey

PACE LAW REVIEW

Protection and
Legiolative
Citizens
Governmental
Advocacy Group
General
Advocacy
Inspector
Committee
Board or
All<Dcyor Ombudspenon
Government Organization witb
with Ript of
with
Inspection
Advisory
General
Commission
Access
Anditing Body FGalI on PrilOD
ResponsibUities
Committee
Issues

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TABLE 1: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL PRISON OVERSIGHT

17

STATE

111<;: Correctional
Association of New
York-Prison Visiting

New York State
COllU11ission of
Correction

Project

North Carolina
OlTice of the Stale
Auditor

North Dakota

0'' 0

Correctional
Institutions
Inspection
Committee

Oklahoma

50-STATE INVENTORY

New Yol"k

Protection and
Legiolative
Citizens
Governmental
Advocacy Group
General
Advocacy
Inspector
Committee
Board or
All<Dcyor Ombudspenon
Government Organization witb
with Ript of
with
Inspection
Advisory
General
Commission
Access
Anditing Body FGalI on PrilOD
ResponsibUities
Committee
Issues

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

2010]

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TABLE 1: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL PRISON OVERSIGHT

Ort'gon

Pennsylvania
Rhode Island

South Carolina

1771

South I>llkota

11/18/2010 2:25 PM

Penllsylvania Prison
Societv

18

STATE

Tffincsset':
TelliS

United Slates

I'REA Ombudsman
for mCl
US Department
of Justice,
Office of/he
Inspector
General

Utah

Vennont

PACE LAW REVIEW

Protection and
Legiolative
Citizens
Governmental
Advocacy Group
General
Advocacy
Inspector
Committee
Board or
All<Dcyor Ombudspenon
Government Organization witb
with Ript of
with
Inspection
Advisory
General
Commission
Access
Anditing Body FGalI on PrilOD
ResponsibUities
Committee
Issues

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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TABLE 1: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL PRISON OVERSIGHT

Virginia
Washington

W)'oming

Disability Rights
Wisconsin

[Vol. 30:5

WI~onsln

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West Virginia

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1773

Table 2 below presents the entities that provide state-level oversight
of local jails. These entities have statewide authority to monitor and
inspect jails at the local level, and many of them have a mandatory
inspection schedule. Many of them also are charged with developing
standards applicable to jails in the state. These entities may or may
not have regulatory powers and the ability to sanction jails that do
not meet these standards. Typically, these oversight bodies are either
stand-alone governmental agencies or commissions, or a division
within the state‘s department of corrections (so long as the state department of corrections is not responsible for operating these local
jails). In a handful of states, there are non-profit advocacy organizations that have monitoring authority as well.
The table categorizes these statewide jail oversight entities as either
a ―statewide body with mandatory inspection duties‖ (typically a regulatory entity); a ―statewide body with discretionary monitoring authority‖ (typically a non-profit advocacy group with a formal right of
access or an Ombudsman or Inspector General that responds to complaints); or a ―voluntary inspection body‖ (which can only conduct inspections at the request of the agency being inspected).
As is obvious from the chart, the vast majority of jail oversight bodies
that conduct mandatory inspections are organized as divisions of the
state Department of Corrections.5 A handful of other entities that
conduct routine jail inspections are independent commissions. Some
states have Sheriffs‘ Associations that offer counties the opportunity
for voluntary inspections, and there are rare examples of advocacy
organizations that have the right to access jails to assess conditions
or to investigate complaints.
The scope of the project did not allow for us to identify all entities set
up at the local level to provide oversight of that locality‘s jail and other lock-up facilities. However, we learned of some local oversight bodies in the course of our research, and where such information was
available, we included that information in Table 2. Oversight at the
local level could include inspection and monitoring responsibilities or
regulatory functions.

5. A monograph published by the National Institute of Corrections provides a helpful summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each of the
primary organizational models for a jail inspections program. See MARK D.
MARTIN, NAT‘L INST. OF CORR., JAIL STANDARDS AND INSPECTIONS PROGRAMS:
RESOURCE AND IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE 20 (2007), available at
http://nicic.org/DOWNLOADS/PDF/Library/022180.pdf.

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50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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[Vol. 30:5

TABLE 2: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL JAIL OVERSIGHT

STATE

Statewide Body
with Mandatory
Inspection Duties

Alabama

Board of
Corrections

Alaska

Statewide
Body with
Discretionary
Monitoring
Authority

Voluntary
Inspection
Body
(statewide)

Disability Law
Center of
Alaska

Office of the
Ombudsman

Local Jail
Inspection
Body

Arizona

Arkansas

Arkansas
Department of
Finance &
Administration
Criminal
Detention Facility
Review
Committees
Los Angeles
County Jail
Monitor

California

Colorado

Office of
Independent
Review (Los
Angeles County)
Sybil Brand
Commission for
Institutional
Inspection (Los
Angeles County)
Office of
Independent
Review (Orange
County)

Corrections
Standards
Authority

Legal Center
for People
with
Disabilities
and Older
People

Connecticut

Delaware

Delaware
Council on
Correction
Delaware
Criminal
Justice Council

21

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1775

TABLE 2: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL JAIL OVERSIGHT

STATE

Statewide Body
with Mandatory
Inspection Duties

Statewide
Body with
Discretionary
Monitoring
Authority

Florida

Voluntary
Inspection
Body
(statewide)

Local Jail
Inspection
Body

Florida
Corrections
Accreditation
Commission

Florida Model
Jail Standards
Committee

Georgia
Office of the
Ombudsman

Hawaii
Idaho

Idaho Sheriffs’
Association

Illinois

Illinois
Department of
Corrections –
Detention
Standards Division

Indiana

Iowa

John Howard
Association

Indiana
Department of
Correction
Program Review
Iowa Department
of Correcitions,
Policy and Legal
Office

Kansas

Kentucky

Kentucky
Department of
Corrections
Division of Local
Facilities Jail
Services Branch

Louisiana
Maine
Maryland

Massachusetts

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Maine Department
of Corrections
Commission on
Correctional
Standards
Massachusetts
Department of
Corrections—
Policy
Development and
Compliance Unit

22

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

TABLE 2: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL JAIL OVERSIGHT

STATE

Michigan

Minnesota

Statewide Body
with Mandatory
Inspection Duties

Statewide
Body with
Discretionary
Monitoring
Authority

Voluntary
Inspection
Body
(statewide)

Local Jail
Inspection
Body

Michigan
Department of
Corrections,
County Jail
Services Section
Minnesota
Department of
Corrections,
Facilities and
Enforcement
Office

Mississippi
Missouri
Montana

Nebraska

Nebraska Crime
Commission,
Jail Standards
Division

Nevada
New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Jersey
Department of
Corrections,
Office of County
Services

New Mexico
New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

New York State
Commission of
Correction
North Carolina
Department of
Health and Human
Services, Division
of Health Service
Regulation, Jail
and Detention
Section
Department of
Corrections and
Rehabilitation,
Training and
County Facilities

New York City
Board of
Correction

23

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1777

TABLE 2: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL JAIL OVERSIGHT

STATE

Statewide Body
with Mandatory
Inspection Duties

Ohio

Ohio Department
of Rehabilitation
and Correction,
Bureau of Adult
Detention

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State
Department of
Health,
Jail Inspection
Division

Oregon

Oregon
Department of
Corrections—
Community
Corrections

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania
Department of
Corrections,
Office of County
Inspection &
Services

Statewide
Body with
Discretionary
Monitoring
Authority

Voluntary
Inspection
Body
(statewide)

Local Jail
Inspection
Body

Multnomah
County
Corrections
Grand Jury

Pennsylvania
Prison Society

County Prison
Boards

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Department of
Corrections,
Division of
Inspections and
Operational
Review

South Dakota
Tennessee

Texas

United States

Utah

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Tennessee
Corrections
Institute
Texas
Commission on
Jail
Standards
Department of
Justice, Office of
the Federal
Detention Trustee,
Detention
Standards and
Compliance
Division

Department of
Homeland
Security,
Office of the
Inspector
General
Utah Sheriffs’
Association

24

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

TABLE 2: MODELS OF FORMAL, EXTERNAL JAIL OVERSIGHT

STATE

Statewide Body
with Mandatory
Inspection Duties

Statewide
Body with
Discretionary
Monitoring
Authority

Voluntary
Inspection
Body
(statewide)

Local Jail
Inspection
Body

Vermont

Virginia

Virginia
Department of
Corrections,
Compliance and
Accreditation Unit

Washington
West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wisconsin
Department of
Corrections,
Office of
Detention
Facilities

Disability
Rights
Wisconsin

Wyoming

25

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1779

SECTION 2:
STATE SUMMARIES

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26

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in Alabama.
However, the legislature has recently been more focused on issues affecting prisoners.
In
2006, lawmakers created the
Commission on Girls and Women in the Criminal Justice System, which examined issues and
made recommendations regarding gender-responsiveness in the
state‘s criminal justice system.6
The Commission visited some
facilities and in 2008 recommended the closure of a women‘s

6. H.R.J. 15. (2006), available
at http://www.legislature.state.al.us/
Searchableinstruments/2006RS/Resolutions/HJR15.h
tm.

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

x x x x

Single Jail

Preventative

Jails Statewide

Investigatory

Alabama
Board of
Corrections

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Monitoring

Routine

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

ALABAMA

prison.7 The Commission‘s authority expired in 2008, though
its work continued into 2009.
The legislature also has a Joint
Legislative Committee on Prison
Oversight, but it is unclear to
what degree this Committee is
focused on issues affecting the
treatment of prisoners or prison
conditions.

7. COMM‘N ON GIRLS & WOMEN
IN THE CRIM. JUSTICE SYS., ONE SIZE
DOES NOT FIT ALL: RESEARCH AND
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GENDERRESPONSIVENESS
IN
ALABAMA‘S
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM 36 (2008),

available
at
http://parca.samford.edu/commissio
n/report2008.pdf.

27

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

By statute, the Alabama Board
of Corrections has oversight authority for the state‘s local jails.8
Alabama‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
mentally ill and disabled persons is the Alabama Disabilities
Advocacy Program.

Alabama Board of
Corrections
301 S. Ripley Street
P.O. Box 301501
Montgomery, AL 36130-1501
(334) 353-3883
http://www.doc.state.al.us/

By statute, the Alabama Board
of Corrections (the authority
over the DOC) should inspect local jails at least twice per year.9
The results of inspections are
reported to the governor, as well
as to the entity that controls the
jail, such as the county commissioner or city council.10 The report includes recommendations
for the facility, although the
Board of Corrections has no
sanctioning authority.11

8. ALA. CODE. § 14-1-8 (LexisNexis 2010).
9. § 14-6-81.
10. Id.
11. Id.

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1781

Alabama Disabilities
Advocacy Program
Box 870395
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0395
(205) 348-4928
http://www.adap.net/

The Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program is an advocacy organization associated with the
University of Alabama. It advocates for and protects the right
of people with disabilities and
mental illness, including those
in prisons and jails in Alabama.
As part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed.12

12. See generally Alabama Disabilities
Advocacy
Program,
http://www.adap.net/ (last visited
Jan. 26, 2010).

28

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

ALASKA

The Office of the Ombudsman is
the primary source of oversight
for prisons and jails in Alaska.
That office accepts and investigates complaints against state
government,
including
complaints from inmates in the
Alaska prison system. The inmates have unlimited access to
the office of the Ombudsman,
and the Ombudsman has unlimited access to the prison facilities.
Alaska has a unified
correctional system in which the
state runs both prison and jail
facilities.

x
x

x

x x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

x

Limited

x

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

Office of the
Ombudsman

If Needed

x

Monitoring

Routine

x

Investigatory

Jails Statewide

x

Single Jail

Prisons Statewide

Disability
Law Center of
Alaska

Organization

Preventative

Oversight
Function

Facility

The Administrative Regulation
Review Committee of the Legislature reviews all regulations of
the Department of Corrections. 13
However, the Committee is not
directly involved with inmate
advocacy or issues related to
prison conditions.
Alaska‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for

13. Telephone interview by
Courtney Chavez with Dee Hubbard, citizen-advocate (Mar. 20,
2006).

29

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

mentally ill and disabled persons is the Disability Law Center of Alaska, which appears to
place a priority on prison-related
issues.

Disability Law Center of
Alaska
3330 Arctic Boulevard, Suite 103
Anchorage, AK 99503
(907) 565-1002
http://www.dlcak.org/

The Disability Law Center
(―DLC‖) of Alaska is a non-profit
law firm. It advocates for and
protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Alaska. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.
The DLC lists among its highest
priorities for the year the need
to establish and maintain contact with prisoners and jail inmates through facility visits. 14
Because this organization appears to have an unusual level of
focus on prison-related matters,
we are including it in the chart
above.

14. Disability Law Center of
Alaska, FY 2010 Priorities, Goals,
Objectives
1
(2009),
http://www.dlcak.org/files/pdf/FY10
%20DLC%20Priorities.pdf.

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1783

Office of the
Ombudsman
Box 101140
Anchorage, AK 99510
(907) 269-5290
http://ombud.alaska.gov/

The Office of the Ombudsman is
a state agency with the statutory
authority to investigate complaints against state government
agencies and employees. This
includes the ability to investigate any complaints filed by inmates of the Alaska prison or
jail system. All prisoners are allowed to correspond either in
writing or by telephone at their
request. All communications between the prisoner and the Ombudsman
are
considered
privileged and cannot be monitored by the Department of Corrections, except pursuant to a
court order. The Ombudsman
has unlimited access to the facilities and all documentation from
the facilities, including confidential information.15 This office
handles only individual cases,
which may involve multiple inmates.16 All of its investigations
are published online.

15. State of Alaska Department
of Corrections Policies and Procedures
1-2
(2002),
http://www.correct.state.ak.us/correc
tions/pnp/pdf/101.07.pdf.
16. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Dee Hubbard,
citizen-advocate (July 18, 2006).

30

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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1784

PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

We have identified no formal external prison oversight mechanism in Arizona. However, the
prison agency does receive performance audits every 10 years
from the state‘s Office of the Auditor General as part of its sunset review process for all state
agencies. These audits tend to
focus on management issues rather than prison conditions issues.
The next performance
audit of the Arizona DOC is
scheduled for 2011.17

17. Telephone Interview by
Amanda Barstow with Shan Hays,
Former Performance Audit Manager

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Oversight
Function

Investigatory

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Organization

Prisons Statewide

Facility

Golden Key

ARIZONA

In 2003, the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) introduced the Inmate Family and
Friends Liaison—recently renamed the Constituent Services
Office (―CSO‖)—to address prisoner-related concerns and complaints submitted by friends and
families of prisoners.18 The CSO

for Corrections, Performance Audit
Division, Office of the Auditor General (Nov. 18, 2009).
18. Arizona Department of Corrections, Constituent Services, Family
and
Friends
Office,
http://www.azcorrections.gov/
Prisca_Inmate_Response_Level.aspx

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50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

also compiles data on the number and nature of concerns forwarded to the CSO office, and
submits quarterly reports to the
Director of the DOC with this
information.19 The CSO is not a
substitute for formal grievance
procedures, but it does substitute for the work of the state‘s
Ombudsman Citizens‘ Aide office, which resolves complaints
by citizens against state government. The Ombudsman is
prohibited by statute from investigating inmate complaints, and
complainants are referred to the
CSO for assistance.20 As the
CSO is an internal body for the
DOC (unlike the Ombudsman),
we do not list it in the chart
above.

1785

Arizona Center for
Disability Law
5025 E. Washington St., Suite 202
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 274-6287
(800) 927-2260
www.acdl.com

The Arizona Center for Disability Law is a non-profit advocacy
organization. It advocates for,
and protects the rights of, people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons
and jails in Arizona. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.21

Arizona‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
mentally ill and disabled persons is the Arizona Center for
Disability Law.

(last visited Feb. 2, 2010).
19. E-mail from Betty Cassiano, Constituent Services Office
Manager, to Amanda Barstow, (Nov.
19, 2009).
20. Arizona Ombudsman Citizens‘ Aide, Frequently Asked Questions,
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ombuds
man/faq.htm (last visited Nov. 24,
2009).

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

21. See generally Arizona Center
for
Disability
Law,
http://www.acdl.com/default.htm
(last visited Feb. 2, 2010).

32

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

x

Inspectors
Professional

x

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in Arkansas. However, Arkansas does have a
statewide agency tasked with
formal oversight of its local jails.

Arkansas Department of
Finance & Administration: Criminal Detention Facilities Review
Committees

Arkansas‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for mentally ill and disabled persons is the Disability Rights
Center.

PO Box 3278
Little Rock, AR72203
(501) 324-9493
http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offi
ces/criminalDetention/Pages/def
ault.aspx

Lay

Access

Restricted

Limited

Single Issue

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Arkansas
Department of
Finance &
Administration,
Criminal
Detention
Facility Review
Committees

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

ARKANSAS

x

The Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committees are organized under the Arkansas
Department of Finance and Ad-

33

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

ministration. The Committees
are responsible for annually inspecting jails that house city and
county prisoners to ensure that
all jail facilities comply with the
minimum standards22 mandated
by the State of Arkansas Legislature.23
The committees inspect jails in 26 districts. In
each district, a volunteer inspection team comprising six citizens
appointed by the governor is
trained by the committee coordinator. They perform both announced
and
unannounced
inspections. The committee reports to the governor, and can
take a non-compliant facility to
court.24

1787

including those in prisons and
jails in Arkansas. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

Disability Rights Center
1100 North University, Suite 201
Little Rock, AR 72207
(501) 296-1775
http://www.arkdisabilityrights.or
g/pair.html

The Disability Rights Center is a
non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the right of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
22. Criminal Detention Facilities
Review
Committee,
http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/
criminalDetention/Pages/default.aspx (last visited
Feb. 2, 2010).
23. Ark. Code Ann. § 12-26-103
(2010).
24. Interview by William Vetter
with David Underwood (July 18,
2006).

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34

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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1788

PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

CALIFORNIA

Little Hoover
Commission

x

Los Angeles
County Jail
Monitor
Office of the
Inspector
General

x
x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x
x x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

General Government

If Needed

x

Office of
Independent
Review
(Orange
County)

x

x

x

x

Sybil Brand
Commission
for
Institutional
Inspection
(LA County)

x

x

x

x

x

Issues Covered

x

Office of
Independent
Review (LA
County)

Office of
Sexual Abuse
in Detention
Elimination
Ombuds
person

Routine

Single Jail

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Corrections
Standards
Authority

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

x

35

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50-STATE INVENTORY

California has a number of entities providing formal external
prison oversight. The Office of
the Inspector General (OIG), an
independent state agency, provides extensive investigation
and review of all California state
prisons. The Office of Sexual
Abuse in Detention Elimination
Ombudsperson, which is based
within the OIG, provides additional oversight, specifically on
the sexual assault issue. Court
oversight is also very active in
California, with a Receiver appointed for the prison health
care system and a special master
previously appointed for the issue of use of force at the Pelican
Bay facility. Additionally, the
Little Hoover Commission provides a measure of oversight for
the country‘s largest correctional
system, with its focus on improved government performance.
There is no statewide jail oversight authority, but the Los Angeles County Jail is routinely
inspected by an independent
monitor and the Office of Independent Review, both of which
are under contract with the Los
Angeles County Board of Supervisors. It is also monitored by
the Sybil Brand Commission for
Institutional Inspection. Some
other counties in California have
begun to adopt parts of Los Angeles‘ model of local jail oversight, including Orange County,
which now has its own Office of
Independent Review.

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1789

California‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for mentally ill and disabled persons is California Protection &
Advocacy, Inc.

California Protection &
Advocacy, Inc.
100 Howe Avenue, Suite 185-N
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 488-9955
http://www.pai-ca.org/

California Protection & Advocacy, Inc. is a non-profit advocacy
organization. It advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons
and jails in California. As part
of the nation‘s protection and
advocacy network, it has a right
of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

Corrections Standards
Authority
600 Bercut Drive
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-5073
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisi
ons_Boards/CSA/
The Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) is based within the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and
it is responsible for developing
and
maintaining
minimum
standards for the construction

36

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

and operation of local adult and
juvenile
detention
facilities
throughout the state. The CSA
inspects these facilities every
two years to determine compliance with standards, and
works with jail agencies to help
them remain in compliance.
These are considered to be ―problem-solving inspections.‖25 The
CSA reports to the Legislature
on the results of its inspections.
The agency does not have the
authority to close non-compliant
institutions.

[Vol. 30:5

Little Hoover
Commission

Typically,
the
Commission
chooses topics to review that are
brought to its attention by citizens or legislators. Investigations usually involve public
hearings, advisory committee
meetings, and fieldwork, which
includes site visits to institutions in the California prison
system.
The Commission reports all of its findings to the
Governor and Legislature. Once
the recommendations are accepted, it then becomes the
Commission‘s job to ensure efficient and appropriate implementation.26
Roughly one major
report on public safety–related
issues is produced per year.

925 L Street, Suite 805
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-2125
http://www.lhc.ca.gov/

Los Angeles County Jail
Monitor

The Little Hoover Commission is
an independent oversight agency. Its mission is to investigate
state government operations
through reports, recommendations, and legislative proposals,
with a goal to promote efficiency
and improved services.
The
board is composed of nine individuals who are appointed by
the Governor and the Legislature, but also includes two state
Senators and two Assembly
Members.

500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 974-1411
http://bos.co.la.ca.us/Main.htm

25. California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation,
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/
Divisions Boards/CSA/ (last visited
Mar. 23, 2010).

26. E-mail from Carole D‘Elia,
Little Hoover Commission, to
Courtney Chavez, University of
Texas School of Law (Mar. 22,
2006).

The Los Angeles County Board
of Supervisors has the authority
to inspect and monitor the Los
Angeles County jails. For several years, Merrick Bobb has
served as Special Counsel for the
County of Los Angeles. He was
appointed by the Los Angeles
County Board of Supervisors,
and has been charged ―to con-

37

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50-STATE INVENTORY

duct ongoing monitoring and
critical review of the Los Angeles
County Sheriff‘s Department‘s
(LASD) performance.‖27 He has
unfettered access to data and
the facilities of the Los Angeles
County Sheriff‘s Department,
and submits a written report
every six months regarding systemic issues in the department.28

Office of Independent
Review (LA County)
4900 South Eastern Avenue,
Suite 204
Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 890-5425
http://laoir.com/

The Los Angeles County Board
of Supervisors created the Office
of Independent Review (OIR) to
―direct and shape internal affairs investigations in the
LASD.‖29 The OIR makes recommendations regarding decisions,
can
participate
in
investigations, and must certify
an investigation before its closure.30 In its investigations the
OIR has access to all materials,
27. See Contract with Special
Counsel Merrick J. Bobb and County
of
Los
Angeles
(2008),
http://file.lacounty.info/bos/sop/
supdocs/46747.pdf.
28. Merrick
Bobb,
Civilian
Oversight of the Police in the United
States, 22 ST. LOUIS U. L. REV. 151,
160 (2003).
29. Id.
30. Id.

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1791

facilities, and individuals involved.31 The OIR goes onsite
following all jail homicides and
suicides and participates in a
―walk through‖ of the crime
scene. The OIR actively participates in the death review
process and makes both individual and systemic recommendations. The OIR is also involved
in systems review and policy
reform. All of the misconduct
and critical incident investigations monitored by the OIR are
publicly reported. Jail systems
issues that were addressed during the year by the OIR are captured in a public annual rereport.32

Office of Independent
Review (Orange
County)
320 N. Flower Street
Santa Ana, CA 92703
(714) 834-4631
www.oir.ocgov.com

The Orange County Board of
Supervisors passed an ordinance
in 2008 that established the Office of Independent Review to
provide full-time civilian oversight of the Orange County Sheriff‘s Department, which runs
the three County Jail facilities
and houses some 1,800 inmates.

31. Id. at 159.
32. E-mail from Michael Gennaco, Chief Counsel, L.A. Office of
Independent Review, to Michele
Deitch, (Nov. 16, 2009).

38

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Pursuant to an attorney-client
relationship with the County
and the Sheriff‘s Department itself, the OIR has access to investigative files, official records,
and confidential meetings involving Department personnel.
It uses this access to ensure that
the Department‘s internal review processes are thorough, fair
and effective. The OIR monitors
all misconduct cases and critical
incidents, including significant
uses of force and inmate deaths.
It tracks the progress of all investigations and consults with
Department decision-makers as
to appropriate outcomes. While
it cannot compel a particular result, its access to information
and ability to report to the public contribute to its influence.

Office of the Inspector
General
P.O. Box 348780
Sacramento, CA 95834-8780
(800) 700-5952
http://www.oig.ca.gov/

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is dedicated to providing oversight of the California
correctional system. It is an independent government agency
that operates externally from
the Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The
OIG has authority under state
law to conduct audits and criminal investigations. Along with
this authority comes unlimited
access to any and all facilities

[Vol. 30:5

within the prison system, including access to all employees and
the ability to review any document at any time. Its goals are
to improve the effectiveness and
efficiency of the department and
increase public confidence in the
system.33
The OIG must maintain a tollfree public line so that employees within the correctional
facility can report problems.
The inmates also have access to
the OIG through a mailing
process that allows any inmate
to report problems they encounter.34
The OIG is divided into two bureaus: the Bureau of Audits and
Investigations, and the Bureau
of Independent Review. The Bureau of Audits and Investigations
conducts
fiscal
and
performance audits of all institutions and the system as a
whole. The audits cover all aspects of the prison institution
and operational system, from the
warden‘s performance to compliance with laws and regulations.
The
Bureau
of
Independent Review provides
real-time oversight of CDCR. Its
function is to oversee all investi-

33. E-mail from Matthew Cate,
then-Chief Inspector General, California Office of the Inspector Gen.,
to Courtney Chavez, University of
Texas School of Law (Mar. 30,
2006).
34. Id.

39

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1793

gations conducted by the internal affairs unit of the CDCR as
they occur, to ensure that the
agency fairly and effectively investigates and disciplines officers for violating the law or
correctional policy.35 All reports
issued by the OIG are available
to the public.

spect all institutions within the
Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation and to interview
all inmates and wardens.37 Inmates are allowed to write confidential letters to the OmbudsOmbudsperson, whose contact
information is clearly posted in
every institution. 38

Office of Sexual Abuse
in Detention
Elimination
Ombudsperson

The Office of the Sexual Abuse
in Detention Elimination Ombudsperson is independent of the
CDCR to ensure impartial resolutions.
The Office is based
within the Office of the Inspector
General.39

Office of Inspector General
P.O. Box 348780
Sacramento, CA 95834
(800) 700-5952
http://www.oig.ca.gov/pages/bure
aus/bureau-of-criminalinvestigations.php

The Ombudsperson was created
in 2005 under the Sexual Abuse
in Detention Elimination Act in
order to investigate and resolve
any complaints by inmates of
sexual abuse.36 The Ombudsperson has the authority to monitor facilities in the California
prison system and respond to
any complaints filed that relate
to sexual abuse. This authority
allows the Ombudsperson to in-

35. Interview
by
Courtney
Chavez with Larry Finney, Office of
the Inspector (Mar. 23, 2006). See
also Letter from Matthew Cate, Office of the Inspector Gen., to Michele
Deitch (Mar. 30, 2006).
36. CAL. PENAL CODE § 2641(a)
(West 2010).

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Sybil Brand
Commission for
Institutional
Inspections
http://sbc.lacounty.gov/

The Board of Commissioners for
Los Angeles County has developed the Sybil Brand Commission
for
Institutional
Inspections. The Commission is
charged with inspecting each jail
facility or lockup in Los Angeles
County at least once each year.
Upon visiting the institutions,
the Commission reviews the
administration, cleanliness, discipline, care, and security of the
inmates.
During inspections,
any member of the Commission

37. Id. § 2641(b).
38. Id. § 2641(c), (d).
39. Id. § 2641(a).

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

has the authority to interview
any individual locked up imprisoned in the facility.40

40. Board of Supervisors, Sybil
Brand Commission for Institutional
Inspections,
http://bos.co.la.ca.us/Rosters/FactSh
eets/CHI-250.htm (last visited Mar.
23, 2010). See also Sybil Brand
Commission, http://sbc.lacounty.gov/
(last visited Mar. 23, 2010).

41

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1795

COLORADO

x

x

x x

x

We have not identified any formal external jail or prison oversight mechanisms in Colorado.

The Legal Center for
People with Disabilities
and Older People

Colorado‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
mentally ill and disabled persons is The Legal Center for
People with Disabilities and
Older People, which seems to
make prison-related issues a
high priority, thus warranting
inclusion in the chart above.

455 Sherman Street, Suite 130
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 722-0300
http://www.thelegalcenter.org/

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Lay

Inspectors
Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access
Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General
Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

x

Preventative

x

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

The Legal
Center for
People with
Disabilities
and Older
People

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

The Legal Center for People
with Disabilities and Older
People is a non-profit advocacy
organization. It advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons

42

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

and jails in Colorado.41 As part
of the nation‘s protection and
advocacy network, it has a right
of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed. One of the organization‘s high priorities is to monitor the delivery of mental health
services to Colorado prison and
jail inmates.

41. The Legal Center for People
with Disabilities and Older People,
Mission,
http://www.thelegalcenter.org/
index.php?s=35 (last visited Feb. 9,
2010).

43

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1797

CONNECTICUT

We have identified no formal external jail or prison oversight
mechanisms in Connecticut.
Connecticut has a unified corrections system in which both prisons and jails are operated by the
state.
Connecticut‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for mentally ill and disabled persons is the Office of Protection
and Advocacy for Persons with
Disabilities.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Office of Protection and
Advocacy for Persons
with Disabilities
60B Weston Street
Hartford, CT 06120-1551
(860) 297-4300
(800) 842-7303
http://www.ct.gov/opapd

The Office of Protection and Advocacy for persons with Disabilities is a state agency.
It
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in
Connecticut. As part of the na-

44

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

tion‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.42

42. See generally Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons
with
Disabilities,
http://www.ct.gov/opapd/site/default.
asp (last visited Feb. 9, 2010).

45

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1799

DELAWARE

x

x

Delaware has a unified corrections system and all prisons and
jail facilities in the state are operated under the state Department of Corrections. Although
established formal oversight mechanisms in the state of Delaware are limited, recent crises
involving the state‘s correctional
health care system have generated a significant amount of outside attention, including efforts
to investigate and provide oversight of prison conditions.
In September 2005, numerous
newspaper articles in the Delaware News Journal drew atten-

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x
x

Lay

x

Inspectors

Professional

x

Restricted

x

Golden Key

Delaware
Criminal
Justice
Council

Limited

x

Access

Single Issue

x

If Needed

x

Routine

x

Preventative

x

Investigatory

Delaware
Council on
Correction

Organization

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

General Corrections

Issues Covered

Prisons Statewide

Monitoring

General Government

Oversight
Function

Facility

x
x

tion to alleged medical neglect of
prison inmates. Bipartisan political officials demanded an investigation into the prisons‘
healthcare system. Representative Hazel D. Plant thereafter
asked to convene a special House
Committee to investigate prison
medical care, according to a
News Journal article.43

43. Lee Williams & Esteban
Parra, Lawmakers Eye Prison Medical Care, THE NEWS JOURNAL, Sept.
29,
2005,
available
at
http://www.delawareonline.com/app
s/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050929/NE

46

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PACE LAW REVIEW

Under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980,
the Civil Rights Division of the
U.S. Department of Justice is
authorized to investigate prison
and jail conditions.44 It initiated
an official inquiry in early October 2005.45 The five-month federal inquiry resulted in a fullblown federal investigation, announced on March 7, 2006.46 On
December 29, 2006, the Justice
Department and the Department of Corrections signed a
Memorandum of Agreement detailing changes to be made in
the delivery of medical and men-

WS/509290325&theme=PRISONDE
ATHS [hereinafter Medical Care].
44. Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Pub. L. No. 96247, 94 Stat. 349 (codified as
amended at 42 U.S.C. §§ 1997a–
1997c (2006)).
45. Medical Care, supra note
42. See also Lee Williams & Esteban Parra, Federal Suit Could Bring
Needed
Changes,
THE
NEWS
JOURNAL, Oct. 9, 2005, available at
http://www.delawareonline.com/app
s/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051009/NE
WS/510090340&theme=PRISONDE
ATHS.
46. Memorandum of Agreement
Between the United States Department of Justice and the State of Delaware Regarding the Delores J.
Baylor Women‘s Correctional Institution, The Delaware Correctional
Center, The Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, and The Sussex Correctional Institution 3 (Dec.
29,
2006),
available
at
http://www.deprisonmonitor.org/pdf/
delaware_prisons_moa_12-2906.pdf.

[Vol. 30:5

tal health care to prisoners and
agreeing to appoint an independent monitor for a period not to
exceed three years.47 In May of
2007, Joshua W. Martin III was
selected to serve as independent
monitor with a team of medical
and mental health professionals
providing expertise and support.
Mr. Martin and his team have
unrestricted access to the facilities for purposes of monitoring
compliance with the agreement.
He is required to issue a public
report on a semi-annual basis
regarding the State‘s progress.
The first report was published
on June 29, 2007 and the fifth
was released in September
2009.48
In the past, the Delaware Center
for Justice had a contract with
the Department of Corrections to
provide oversight of the inmate
grievance process. Center staff
had access to facilities, sat in on
grievance
hearings,
audited
grievance files, monitored the
agency‘s compliance with grievance process timelines, interviewed staff and inmates, and
issued reports twice annually.
However, that contract is no
longer in effect.49 The Center

47. Id. at 6-14, 18-24.
48. The Office of Independent
Monitor for Delaware Correctional
Facilities,
http://www.deprisonmonitor.org/ind
ex.html (last visited Feb. 9, 2010).
49. Telephone Interview by Michele Deitch with Janet Leban, Ex-

47

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50-STATE INVENTORY

now serves primarily as an inmate advocacy organization and
it runs programs in correctional
facilities.
The Delaware Criminal Justice
Council has access to corrections
institutions, but does not monitor conditions within prisons.
The Delaware Council on Corrections is an appointed advisory
body that serves as a liaison to
the public.
Delaware‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for mentally ill and disabled persons is the Community Legal
Aid Society.

Community Legal Aid
Society, Inc.
Community Service Building
100 West 10th Street, Suite 801
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 575-0660
http://www.declasi.org/

The Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons
and jails in Delaware. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with dis-

ecutive Director, Delaware Center
for Justice (Dec. 4, 2009).

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1801

abilities and mental illness are
housed.

Delaware Council on
Correction
245 McKee Road
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 739-5601
http://www.doc.delaware.gov/CO
C.shtml

The Council is made up of citizens appointed by the Governor,
and it has statutory authority to
meet with corrections administrators and the Governor to advise and ―consider matters
relating to the development and
progress of the adult correctional
system of this State, including
correctional facilities and services provided to adult offenders.‖50

Delaware Criminal
Justice Council
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street, 10th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 577-5030
http://www.state.de.us/cjc/default
.shtml

The Delaware Criminal Justice
Council comprises a broad range
of members, including DOC administrators, lawyers, and other
state employees, and works with
the DOC in issues surrounding

50. DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 29, §
8905(c) (2009).

48

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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[Vol. 30:5

planning, juvenile justice, sentencing, and finance. Council
members do not monitor prison
conditions as a regular activity,
but according to staff, they do
have unfettered access to corrections facilities.51 According to
its website, the Council does not
have a defined statutory purpose.52 Prison conditions do not
appear to be a priority issue for
this body.

51. Interview by William Vetter
with Jim Kane, Executive Director,
Delaware Criminal Justice Council
(July 26, 2006).
52. State of Delaware, The
Official Website of the First State,
About
the
Agency,
http://www.state.de.us/cjc/default.sh
tml. (last visited Feb. 9, 2010).

49

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1803

FLORIDA

Florida Model
Jail Standards
Committee

x
x

Prison oversight in Florida is limited to oversight of the correctional health care delivery
system by the Florida Department of Health‘s Correctional
Medical Authority.
Until the mid-1990s, Florida‘s
jails were under the oversight of
the State Department of Corrections. The Legislature eliminated this function as a cost-saving
measure, and instead mandated

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x x
x

x

x

Lay

Professional

x

Inspectors

Restricted

x

Golden Key

x

Access
Single Issue

x

Limited

x

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General
Government

x

If Needed

Single Jail

x

Routine

Florida
Department of
Health,
Correctional
Medical
Authority

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Florida
Corrections
Accreditation
Commission

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x
x

the creation of model jail standards. The Florida Model Jail
Standards Committee, run under the auspices of the Florida
Sheriff‘s Association, developed
these model standards and uses
volunteer inspectors to conduct
annual inspections of jails to assess compliance with the standards.
However, it has no
statutory mandate to conduct
inspections or to enforce compliance. Florida also has a vo-

50

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

luntary inspection program of its
jails run by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission.
The now-defunct Florida Corrections Commission was established by the Legislature in late
1994 and its primary function
was to oversee Florida‘s correctional system. It was charged
with reviewing the effectiveness
and efficiency of the state‘s correctional efforts, recommending
policies, and evaluating the implementation of approved policies.
Florida‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
mentally ill and disabled persons is the Advocacy Center for
Persons with Disabilities, Inc.

The Advocacy Center
for Persons with
Disabilities, Inc.
2728 Centerview Drive, Suite 102
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 488-9071
(800) 342-0823
http://www.advocacycenter.org/

The Advocacy Center for Persons
with Disabilities Inc. is a nonprofit advocacy organization. It
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in Florida. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it
has a right of access to all correctional facilities in which per-

[Vol. 30:5

sons with disabilities and mental illness are housed.

Florida Corrections
Accreditation
Commission
3504 Lake Lynda Drive, Suite
380
Orlando, FL 32817
(407) 897-2828
http://www.flaccreditation.org/F
CAC%20web/index_corrections.h
tml

The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission offers voluntary accreditation for the state‘s
67 county jails and reaccreditation every three years. Once a
facility applies for accreditation,
it must come into compliance
with standards within two years.
At that point in time, Commission representatives conduct an
on-site review of applicant facilities. According to the Commission, the accreditation standards
―are derived primarily from the
Florida Model Jail Standards.‖53

53. Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc., Accreditation
Benefits,
www.flaccreditation.org (last visited
Feb. 9, 2010).

51

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Florida Department of
Health, Correctional
Medical Authority
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin 04
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1732
(850) 245-4557
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/cma/ov
erview/index.html

The Correctional Medical Authority (CMA) assists the Department of Corrections in the
delivery of health care to inmates by assuring that adequate
standards of physical and mental health care for inmates are
maintained at all institutions,
and by providing an annual report to the Governor and Legislature on the status of the
department‘s health care delivery system.
The CMA was created in 1986 in
response to litigation over insufficient physical and mental
health care for inmates in Florida‘s prison system. In 1993, after 21 years of oversight, the
federal court relinquished its
oversight of Florida‘s prison
health system.54

1805

consultants (doctors, dentists,
psychologists, nurses, etc.), conduct periodic surveys of the
physical, dental and mental
health services provided at the
state‘s major correctional institutions. The CMA is required to
survey each institution at least
once every three years. The survey teams evaluate health care
records and institutional policies
and procedures, interview staff
and inmates, and generally ascertain the prisoners‘ access to
and appropriateness of the care
provided. Survey results are
provided to the Office of Health
Services and deficiencies are reported to the department secretary for corrective action. The
assistant secretary for Health
Services is responsible for assuring that deficiencies are addressed. If the authority and the
assistant secretary are unable to
resolve disagreements, there is a
specified mechanism to appeal.
If necessary, the Cabinet, sitting
as the Administration Commission, may make a final decision.55

CMA staff members, together
with teams of contracted community health care specialist

54. Florida
Department
of
Health, Correctional Medical Authority,
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/cma/overv
iew/history.html (last visited Feb. 9,
2010).

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

55. FLA.
(2010).

STAT.

§

945.6035

52

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Florida Model Jail
Standards Committee
Florida Sheriff’s Association
2617 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 877-2165
http://www.flsheriffs.org/index.cf
m/referer/content.contentList/ID/
408/

Florida
legislative
statute
951.23 mandates the creation of
a working group to develop model standards for the operation of
jails and detention facilities in
the state.56 Known as the Florida Model Jail Standards Committee, the entity includes five
members: three persons appointed by the Florida Sheriff‘s
Association and two appointees
of the Florida Association of
Counties. The Committee operates under the auspices of the
Florida Sheriff‘s Association.
Although the statute does not
mandate monitoring of jail facilities, the Committee chair also
appoints a facilitator who coordinates jail inspections and reporting. Such inspections are
conducted by volunteer inspectors (typically corrections officials in another jail), and are
conducted annually for each jail
in the state using a checklist of
56. FLA. STAT. § 951.23(4)
(2007),
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/files
tores/web/statutes/fs07/CH0951/Sect
ion_0951.23.HTM (last visited June
3, 2010)

[Vol. 30:5

questions based on the Standards. Re-certification training
for jail inspectors is available online.57
According to a news article critical of these jail inspections,
there are no repercussions for
non-compliance with the Standards and most jails receive reports indicating that they are in
compliance with 100% of the
Model Jail Standards.58
The
Committee lacks the ability to
assume control of operations
when conditions become substandard.

57. Florida Sheriff‘s Association,
―Online
Re-Certification
Course for Jail Inspectors,‖ available
at:
http://www.flsheriffs.org/index.cfm/r
eferer/content.contentList/ID/408/
(last visited June 3, 2010).
58. Anthony Colarossi and Willoughby Mariano, ―If all Central
Florida jails rate an A, is it deserved?,‖ Orlando Sentinel, May 15,
2010,
available
at
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/new
s/local/os-jail-accredtation-florida20100515,0,7109127,full.story (last
visited June 3, 2010).

53

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1807

GEORGIA

We have identified no formal external prison or jail oversight
mechanisms in Georgia. The
Department of Corrections has a
policy-setting
board
(the
―Board‖) responsible for hiring
or firing the director and establishing the rules under which
the department operates. Members of the Board are citizens
appointed by the Governor.
Though the Board has access to
departmental facilities, it is not
intended to be an inspection and
monitoring entity.
The relatively new Office of the
Ombudsman within the DOC
works with advocacy groups and
inmate families to investigate
problems reported in facilities.
This office is tasked with provid-

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

ing objective investigations and
recommendations to the Department of Corrections, but is
not external to the agency.
In rare circumstances, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations will
be called to assist or handle an
investigation of an inmate
death.59
Georgia‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
mentally ill and disabled persons is the Georgia Advocacy Office.

59. Interview by William Vetter
with Office of the Ombudsman (July
27, 2006).

54

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

Georgia Advocacy
Office
150 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite
430
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 885-1234
(800) 537-2329
http://www.thegao.org/

The Georgia Advocacy Office is a
non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Georgia. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

55

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1809

HAWAI’I

External monitoring of prisons
and jails in Hawai‘i is very limited, and is available primarily
through the Office of the Ombudsman, a legislative entity
that handles complaints about
all executive branch agencies.
Hawai‘i has a unified corrections
systems in which the state operates both prisons and jails.
In 2007, the state legislature
passed the Community Safety
Act, which created a legislative
oversight committee for Hawai‘i‘s prisons.60 The committee
was directed to conduct site vis-

60. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 353H
(2010).

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x

Lay

Inspectors
Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

x

Access

Single Issue

x

General Corrections

General Government

Issues Covered

If Needed

x

Routine

x

Monitoring

Preventative

x

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Office of the
Ombudsman

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

its in prison facilities to evaluate
issues such as safety and sanitation, and committee members
were allowed to bring legislative
staff and other experts with
them on these inspections. The
oversight committee was abolished in 2009.61
Due to limited resources on the
island, Hawai‘i exports a very
large percentage of its prisoners
to private facilities in mainland
states. Some significant abuses
of prisoners have occurred in
these facilities, most recently in61. S.B. 539, 25th Leg. (Haw.
2009),
available
at
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/splses
sion2009/bills/ACT24_.pdf.

56

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volving sexual abuse of female
prisoners by staff at a private
prison in Kentucky.62 During
the 2009 legislative session, the
Hawaiian legislature passed a
resolution63 to have an auditor
conduct a private prison performance audit of the Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona to
ensure that Hawaiian inmates
are receiving adequate health
services and access to prison
programming.64 Because of the
budget crisis, however, this audit has not been performed.65
Hawai‘i‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness and
disabilities is the Hawai‘i Disability Rights Center.

Hawai’i Disability
Rights Center

62. Ian Urbina, Hawaii to Remove Inmates Over Abuse Charges,
N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 26, 2009, at A 12,
available
at
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/26/
us/26kentucky.html.
63. H. Con. Res. 199, 25th Leg.
(Haw. 2009).
64. Senator Will Espero, Hawaii Legislation Ensures Prison Inmates’ Needs Are Being Met, HAW.
REPORTER, May 21, 2009, available
at
http://www.hawaiireporter.com/stor
y.aspx?8fc5ff6f-0506-41e6-b23ea9e672820d44.
65. E-mail from Kat Brady, Director, Community Alliance on Prisons, to Michele Deitch (Nov. 16,
2009).

[Vol. 30:5

900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1040
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 949-2922
http://www.hawaiidisabilityright
s.org

The Hawai‘i Disability Rights
Center is a non-profit advocacy
organization. It advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons
and jails in Hawai‘i. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

Office of the
Ombudsman
465 South King St., 4th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-0770
http://www.ombudsman.hawaii.g
ov/

The Ombudsman is an ―officer of
the legislature who [is charged
with] investigat[ing] complaints
about actions of executive
branch agencies of the state and
county governments,‖ including
agencies that run correctional
facilities.66
The Ombudsman
can investigate complaints about
prison conditions as well as alle-

66. Office of the Ombudsman,
About
Us,
http://www.ombudsman.hawaii.gov/
about-us (last visited Feb. 23, 2010).

57

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1811

gations of abuse and neglect. If
substantiated, the office can attempt to resolve the problem
with the agency directly. The
Ombudsman does not have the
power to compel or reverse administrative actions but instead
tries to resolve substantiated
complaints through recommendations and reasoned persuasion. The office can also make
recommendations for changes to
the law, administrative rules, or
operating procedure.

IDAHO

We have identified no formal external prison oversight mechanism in this state. With regard to
jails, the Idaho Sheriffs‘ Association has established minimum

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Idaho Sheriffs'
Association

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

jail standards, and conducts
regular inspections for the purpose of certification.

58

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PACE LAW REVIEW

Idaho‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Disability Rights
Idaho.

[Vol. 30:5

Disability Rights Idaho
4477 Emerald St., Suite B-100
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 336-5353
http://www.disabilityrightsidaho
.org/

Disability Rights Idaho is a nonprofit advocacy organization. It
advocates for and protects the
right of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in Idaho. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it
has a right of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and
mental illness are housed.

Idaho Sheriffs’
Association
1087 W. River St., Suite 100
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 287-0001
http://www.idahosheriffsassociat
ion.com/index.html

The Idaho Sheriffs‘ Association
developed minimum operational
jail standards in response to
fears of expensive litigation related to jail conditions.67 To ensure compliance with these
standards, the Association schedules annual inspections of each
facility that are conducted by
two sheriffs, two county board
67. IDAHO
SHERIFFS‘
ASSOCIATION
MINIMUM
JAIL
STANDARDS i (2003), available at
http://www.nicic.org/pubs/2003/0193
70.pdf.

59

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1813

members, and the jail standards
coordinator.68 If a jail is not in
compliance, jail officials have 30
days to present a compliance
plan.69 If they do not reach
compliance, the jail may not be
certified.70

68. Id. at ii.
69. Id.
70. Id. But see MARTIN, supra
note 4, at 46 (suggesting that the
Idaho Sheriffs‘ Association does not
have any enforcement authority).

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60

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

ILLINOIS

x

Illinois has one of the country‘s
best-known
non-governmental
oversight mechanisms for prisons and jails: the John Howard
Association for Prison Reform, a
non-profit organization.
The
Department of Corrections‘ Detention Standards Division has
the responsibility of monitoring
local jails in Illinois.
Illinois‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Equip for Equality.

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

x

Restricted

x

x

Golden Key

x

Access

Single Issue

x

Limited

x

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

Single Jail

If Needed

x

Routine

John Howard
Association for
Prison Reform

x

Preventative

Illinois
Department of
Corrections –
Detention
Standards
Division

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Monitoring

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x
x

x

x

Equip for Equality
20 North Michigan Ave., Suite
300
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 341-0022
(800) 537-2632
http://www.equipforequality.org/

Equip for Equality is a nonprofit advocacy organization. It
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in Illinois. As part of the nation‘s pro-

61

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

tection and advocacy network, it
has a right of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and
mental illness are housed.

Illinois Department of
Corrections, Jail and
Detention Standards
Unit
1301 Concordia Court
P.O. Box 19277
Springfield, IL 62794-9277
(217) 558-2200, ext. 2008
http://www.idoc.state.il.us/subsec
tions/departments/jail_and_dete
ntion_standards/default.shtml

The Jail and Detention Standards Unit (the ―Unit‖) of the
state prison agency monitors local jail compliance with the Illinois County Jail Standards,
Municipal Jail and Lockup
Standards and provides technical assistance to facilities. The
Unit has four inspectors, who
make annual visits to each facility, sometimes unannounced.
The Unit also takes complaints
and may investigate unusual occurrences, such as deaths or suicides. Repeatedly non-compliant
institutions can be reported to
the Attorney General, who has
the authority to close them.71
Staff members also serve in an
ombudsman capacity, responding to complaints from jail in-

71. Interview by William Vetter
with Jail and Detention Standards
Unit (July 17, 2006)

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1815

mates and others about detention operations and civil rights
violations.

John Howard Association for Prison Reform
300 West Adams Street, Suite 423
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 782-1901
http://www.john-howard.org/

The John Howard Association
(JHA) is a private, not-for-profit
organization that provides ―public oversight of the state‘s prisons,
jails,
and
juvenile
correctional facilities.‖72
The
JHA‘s Prisons and Jail Project
sends staff and volunteers on
periodic, announced visits to
prisons in 102 counties to evaluate the conditions of confinement.
JHA staff includes
corrections experts as well as volunteers who go through a short
training course prior to visits.
Reports are produced from these
visits and are used to make recommendations for change or improvement.
For corrections
institutions other than the Cook
County (Chicago) Jail, for which
the JHA was appointed in 1982
as a special court monitor,
access is at the discretion of corrections officials. However, the
organization has had unre72. John Howard Association
for
Prison
Reform,
Mission,
http://www.johnhoward.org/aboutus/mission.html
(last visited Feb. 23, 2010).

62

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[Vol. 30:5

stricted access to these institutions for 40 years, and the organization has become known as
the state‘s jail and prison oversight body.73

73. E-mail
from
Malcolm
Young, then-Director, John Howard
Association, to Michele Deitch (June
16, 2006).

63

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1817

INDIANA

Indiana
Ombudsman
Bureau

x

Indiana State
Department of
Health

x

x
x

Prison oversight in Indiana is
handled primarily through the
use of an Ombudsman, though
issues related to correctional
medical care are also reviewed
by the State Department of
Health. No entity has responsibility for inspecting prison conditions on a routine basis. Jail
oversight in Indiana is wellestablished.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x
x

x

x

x

x

x
x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Single Issue

Access

x
x

x

Limited

x

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Single Jail

Routine

x

Preventative

Indiana
Department of
Correction
Program
Review

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Monitoring

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

The Indiana Ombudsman Bureau functions independently of
the DOC and investigates prisoner-related grievances. Bureau
staff have access to prisons, inmates, and correctional staff, but
do not have the statutory authority to enforce any of their
recommendations.
Characterized as being ―unusual
[for a health department]‖ in its

64

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access to prisons,74 the Indiana
State Department of Health
(ISDH) conducts annual and
complaint surveys to assess
healthful environment and medical care. Pursuant to statute,
the department also conducts an
annual survey of the food service
at each prison. Surveyors are
authorized to review any medical records, policies and facility
documents, and may interview
prisoners and correctional staff.
ISDH is not able to enforce its
recommendations.
The Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) has oversight of
county jails and juvenile detention facilities, and may recommend that a facility be closed. It
is at the DOC Commissioner‘s
discretion to convene a grand
jury to decide if the jail remains
operational.
Jail inspections
carried out by the Indiana DOC
are some of the most in-depth
inspections of this type in the
country.
Indiana‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness and
disabilities is Indiana Protection
and Advocacy Services.

74. Telephone Interview by Michelle Burman with Joyce Elder,
Dir. of Prison Health, Ind. State
Dep‘t of Health, Health Care Regulatory Servs. Comm‘n, Acute Care
Div., (Mar. 22, 2006) [hereinafter
Elder Interview].

[Vol. 30:5

Indiana Department of
Correction
Program Review
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 233-4778
http://www.in.gov/indcorrection/

The Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) Program Review
is responsible for state-level
oversight of the 92 county jails
and 24 juvenile detention facilities throughout the state.
Headquartered in the DOC, Program Review‘s three jail inspectors are employed by and report
to the DOC.75
The DOC,
through its Commissioner, is responsible for developing minimum standards for county jails
and juvenile detention facilities.
Since 2002, inspections are conducted at least once annually.
Prior to 2002, each facility had
to be inspected twice a year. Inspectors are available to visit
any jail or detention facility
more often if the local administrator requests additional assistance.76

75. Telephone Interview by Michelle Burman with Paul Downing,
former Jail Inspector, Ind. Dep‘t of
Corr., (Mar. 30, 2006) (explaining
that in 2005, the division merged
with the state facility auditors to
conduct all county jail, juvenile detention facilities, and prison audits)
[hereinafter Downing Interview].
76. Id.

65

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50-STATE INVENTORY

During the audit, the inspectors
complete a 225-question survey
based on direct observation and
interviews with inmates and
staff. All questions pertain to
the Indiana Code and are derived from American Correctional Association (ACA) standards.
Currently, only one jail in Marion County and one juvenile detention
facility
are
ACA77
accredited.
Once the audit is complete, a jail
report with Program Review‘s
recommendations for improvement is generated and circulated
to the circuit court judges, sheriffs, president of the Board of
Commissioners, county counsel,
auditor, and county prosecutor.
Reports are made public upon
request ten days after their release to the aforementioned individuals.78 Although the DOC
may make recommendations, it
has no direct authority to enforce them.79 If Program Review
recommends a jail be closed, the
DOC Commissioner has the
power to convene a grand jury to
decide the fate of the facility.80

77. Telephone Interview by Michelle Burman with Jeanne Alverson, Jail Inspector, Ind. Dep‘t of
Corr. (Mar. 31, 2006) [hereinafter
Alverson Interview].
78. Id.
79. Downing Interview, supra
note 71.
80. Alverson Interview, supra
note 73.

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1819

Indiana Ombudsman
Bureau
402 West Washington Street,
W479, Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 234-3190
http://www.in.gov/idoc/2318.htm

The Ombudsman Bureau was
established in 2003 and functions independently of the Indiana Department of Correction
(DOC). Appointed by the Governor, the Ombudsman is responsible
for
investigating
prisoner complaints against the
DOC relating to the violation of
any law, departmental policy, or
any act that risks the health or
safety of any person.81 The Bureau is also staffed with an executive assistant.
The review and investigative
process usually begins with a
prisoner-related grievance, but
the Ombudsman may also initiate an investigation. Grievance forms are available to the
public on the Bureau‘s website,82
and to prisoners in the law library at every correctional institution. The DOC has its own
internal, two-step grievance
process; inmates may file a complaint informally and then, if it
81. IND. CODE § 4-13-1.2-5
(2009) (stating that the Ombudsman
is prohibited from investigating employee complaints against the DOC).
82. Ind. Ombudsman Bureau,
Complaint
Report
(2004),
http://www.in.gov/icpr/webfile/forms
div/ 51506.pdf.

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50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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PACE LAW REVIEW

remains unresolved, they may
file a formal grievance at their
institution. To expedite and facilitate the process, a Grievance
Specialist is housed in each facility. If they wish, inmates may
bypass these two steps and
submit their complaints directly
to the Ombudsman.
Bureau staff members are
granted direct access to any relevant DOC records for the inmate or complainant and, per
statute, are granted ―immediate
access‖ to any DOC facility;
however, the decision to make
an unannounced visit is generally made on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, any records from
other state or government agencies that have information related to the investigation or
complainant must be made
available.83
The Ombudsman
may also conduct confidential
interviews with the prisoners.
Monthly reports are sent to the
Governor‘s Office and the DOC
Commissioner, with an annual
report submitted to the Governor, DOC Commissioner, and
the Legislature. Although the
reports include recommendations for change, the Ombudsman
has
no
enforcement
authority.

83. IND.
(2009).

CODE

§

[Vol. 30:5

If the DOC is overcrowded, the
agency can lease beds in the
county jail. The Ombudsman
has jurisdiction to respond to
complaints only over those DOC
inmates temporarily housed in
the jails. Otherwise, the Bureau
does not investigate complaints
about jail conditions. The Bureau does work closely with the
Indiana DOC‘s jail inspectors,
and defers to them if the complaint references a jail-related
matter.

Indiana Protection and
Advocacy Services
4701 North Keystone Avenue,
Suite 222 Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 722-5555
(800) 622-4845
http://www.in.gov/ipas/

Indiana Protection and Advocacy
Services is an independent state
agency that receives no state
funding. It advocates for and
protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Indiana. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

4-13-1.2-6

67

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Indiana State Department of Health, Health
Care Regulatory Services Commission, Acute
Care Division
2 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Main: (317) 233-1325, Direct:
(317) 233-7485
http://www.in.gov/isdh/20111.htm

Pursuant to statute, the Indiana
State Department of Health
(ISDH) conducts annual and
complaint surveys to assess for
―any unsafe, unsanitary or unhealthy conditions that affect
the health, safety and welfare of
offenders or employees‖84 and
medical care85 in each facility
operated by the Department of
Correction (DOC). The ISDH
also is mandated by law to conduct an annual survey of the
Food Service at each institution.
The ISDH only investigates a
complaint when, if true, it would
violate one of the standards the
ISDH regulates. Two surveyors,
one for health care and one for
food services and environment,
are employed to complete the

84. E-mail from Joyce Elder,
Dir. of Prison Health, Ind. State
Dep‘t of Health, Health Care Regulatory Servs. Comm‘n, Acute Care
Div., to Michelle Burman (Mar. 31,
2006) [hereinafter Elder E-mail].
See also IND. CODE § 11-11-6-2
(2009).
85. See IND. CODE §11-10-3-4
(2009).

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1821

surveys. The survey tasks include reviews of medical records,
policies, facility documents, and
logs; observations; and interviews with staff and inmates.
Because the law does not enumerate the specific criteria that
the health, environment, and
sanitation must meet, the ISDH
operates under a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) with
the DOC. The MOU specifies
the standards the ISDH will use
as criteria for the surveys.
Many of the prisons in Indiana
are accredited by the American
Correctional Association (ACA).
Therefore, the ISDH and DOC
have agreed upon selected mandatory and non-mandatory ACA
standards as criteria.86 The Retail Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements,87 which are
required for all food establishments in the state, are utilized
for the food inspections.88 The
ISDH policy is to make unannounced surveys. The MOU outlines how the survey process will
be conducted and how the survey reports are processed. Confidentiality with inmates is not
guaranteed, but the presence of
correctional staff at interviews is
primarily to ensure the safety of
the surveyors.

70.

86. Elder Interview, supra note

87. See 410 IND. ADMIN. CODE,
7-24-1 to -452 (2009).
88. Elder E-mail, supra note
80.

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[Vol. 30:5

Once the surveys are complete,
the ISDH writes a survey report
identifying any ―deficiencies‖
found during the survey.89 The
report is forwarded to the Governor, the facility, and the DOC
Commissioner. The reports do
not make recommendations to
correct the deficiencies.
The
MOU allows the ISDH to request the facility submit a ―plan
of correction‖ that the ISDH may
or may not approve. The plan
must include a timeline for when
the identified problem(s) will be
corrected, how it was or will be
corrected, and who will assume
responsibility for ensuring that
the correction is made and the
deficiency will not reoccur. The
ISDH does not revisit the facility
to assess compliance, but the
surveyors visit each facility at
least annually and can cite the
same violation again when they
conduct the subsequent survey.
The ISDH also does not have the
power to enforce the devised
plan, but DOC policy requires
that the agency meet ACA standards.

89. Id.

69

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1823

IOWA

Office of
Citizen’s
Aide/
Ombudsman

x

x

x
x

x

x

x

x

x

Currently, the only entity that
has prison oversight responsibility in Iowa is the legislative Office of the Ombudsman, which
responds to prisoner complaints.
The Department of Corrections
has oversight responsibility for
local jails.

Iowa Department of
Corrections, Policy and
Legal Office

Iowa‘s designated protection and
advocacy organization for persons with mental illness and
disabilities is Iowa Protection
and Advocacy Services, Inc.

Under Iowa Code Section
356.43, the Department of Corrections (DOC) is charged with
making ―periodic inspections of
each jail or municipal holding

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Iowa
Department of
Corrections,
Policy and
Legal Office

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

510 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 725-5701
http://www.doc.state.ia.us/

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PACE LAW REVIEW

facility‖ in the State of Iowa.90
After each inspection, which is
conducted using statutory standards,91 the department reports
to the ―governing body of the political subdivision‖ where the facility is located.92 The DOC has
the authority to require the correction of any perceived violations, to hold hearings on these
violations, and to petition the
state attorney general to prohibit the confinement of prisoners
in a particular facility.93 The
jail inspection function is handled by the Policy and Legal Office within the DOC.

Iowa Protection and
Advocacy Services, Inc.
950 Office Park Road, Suite 221
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 278-2502
http://www.ipna.org/

Iowa Protection and Advocacy
Services, Inc. is an independent
non-profit advocacy organization.94 It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Iowa. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
90. IOWA CODE § 356.43 (2008).
91. IOWA ADMIN. CODE r. 20150.1 to .25 (2009).
92. Id.
93. IOWA CODE § 356.43 (2008).
94. IOWA CODE § 2.12 (2010).

[Vol. 30:5

to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

Office of Citizens’
Aide/Ombudsman
Capital Complex, 215 East 7th
Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-6844
http://www.legis.state.ia.us/ombu
dsman/

Iowa state law establishes the
Office of the Ombudsman within
the state legislature. In fulfilling its responsibility of responding to citizen complaints about
government,
including
complaints filed by prisoners, the
Ombudsman
has
unlimited
access to all corrections facilities
in Iowa, and access to all documentation, including all confidential documentation, whether
written or recorded.
During an inmate‘s intake, he or
she is informed about the existence of the ombudsman and
told he or she can write or call
the office with any questions or
complaints. Generally, the office
waits until a complaint is received; staff then write the inmate back in order to determine
whether that inmate would like
the office to formally begin an
investigation and pursue the issue.
However, in situations
where the circumstances are extreme and it is determined that
there is no time for an exchange

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1825

of letters, the office will initiate
the investigation.
Though the office has access to
the facilities, onsite visits are
conducted less frequently than
in the past. Previously, the Ombudsman would visit the facilities
and
inform
the
administration and inmates
ahead of time to allow for any
inmate with a complaint to
schedule time to speak with the
ombudsman. Once this became
too cumbersome, the prisoners
were given access to a toll-free
number directly to the office.
However, the number of complaints was too many to handle
and so the office has returned to
only written submission.95

95. Interview with Judith Milosevich, Prison Ombudsman, Iowa
Citizen‘s Aide (Mar. 30, 2006).

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

KANSAS

We have identified no formal external prison or jail oversight
mechanism in Kansas responsible for monitoring conditions in
facilities and the treatment of
inmates.
However, there is a legislative
Joint Committee on Corrections
and Juvenile Justice Oversight
that reviews the operations of
the state prison system and
county jails, though it‘s primary
focus is the inmate population
and the need for prison construction or expansion of community

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

corrections.96 There is also a
Sentencing Commission in Kansas, but its mandate is narrowly
focused on monitoring and regulating prison population through
the use of sentencing guidelines
and not on prison conditions
generally.97
Kansas‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
96. KAN. STAT. ANN. §§ 46-2801,
2802 (2008).
97. See generally Kan. Sentencing
Comm‘n,
http://www.accesskansas.org/ksc/ind
ex.shtml (last visited Jan. 25, 2010).

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disabilities is the Disability
Rights Center of Kansas.98

Disability Rights Center
of Kansas
635 S.W. Harrison Street, Suite
100
Topeka, KS 66603
(785) 273-9661
www.drckansas.org

The Disability Rights Center of
Kansas. is an independent nonprofit advocacy organization. 99
It advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in
Kansas.100 As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.101

98. Disability Rights Ctr. of
Kan.,
http://www.drckansas.org/
(last visited Jan. 25, 2010) (stating
that it was ―formerly Kansas Advocacy-Protective Services (KAPS)‖).
99. Id.
100. Id.
101. Disability Rights Ctr. of
Kan.,
http://www.drckansas.org/whoweare
/whoweare.asp (last visited Jan. 25,
2010).

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[Vol. 30:5

KENTUCKY

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in Kentucky. However, the Kentucky Department
of Corrections (DOC) does have
jail inspection authority. The
Commissioner of Corrections
may order a jail closed, on recommendation of an individual
inspector.102

102. U.S. DEP‘T of Justice, NIC
INFO. CTR., AUTHORITY OF STATELEVEL JAIL INSPECTION AGENCIES TO
CLOSE COUNTY/LOCAL JAILS 2 (2003),

x

x

Lay

Inspectors
Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Kentucky
Department of
Corrections,
Division of
Local
Facilities Jail
Services
Branch

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

The DOC does have an Ombudsman. However, this position is internal to the agency,
and so it is not listed in this report.
Kentucky‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is Kentucky Protection and Advocacy.

http://www.nicic.org/pubs/2003/
019303.pdf [hereinafter AUTHORITY
TO CLOSE JAILS].

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Kentucky Department
of Corrections, Division
of Local Facilities Jail
Services Branch
Health Services Building
275 East Main Street
P.O. Box 2400
Frankfort, KY 40602-2400
(502) 564-4726
http://www.corrections.ky.gov/ins
tfac/localfacs/

The Jail Services Branch inspects jails twice per year to
monitor compliance with state
standards established by statute,103 including standards relating to prisoner rights, and to
provide training and technical
assistance.104 After a hearing involving an inspector and officials
from a non-compliant local jail,
the Commissioner of Corrections
can order the closure of a jail. 105

1829

Kentucky Protection
and Advocacy
100 Fair Oaks Lane, Third Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(800) 372-2988
http://www.kypa.net/index.html

Kentucky Protection and Advocacy Services is an independent
state agency. It advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons
and jails in Kentucky. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

103. 501 KY. ADMIN. REGS. 3:XX
(2009)
104. 501 KY. ADMIN. REGS.
3:130, 140 (2009).
105. AUTHORITY TO CLOSE JAILS,
supra note 98, at 2.

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[Vol. 30:5

We have not identified any formal external prison or jail oversight mechanisms in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Department of
Public Safety and Corrections
Office of Adult Services provides
technical assistance to parish
jails but does not appear to inspect or monitor them.106
Louisiana‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness

106. La. Dep‘t of Pub. Safety
and Corr., Office of Adult Servs.,
http://www.doc.la.gov/view.php?cat=
1&id=2 (last visited Jan. 24, 2010).

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

LOUISIANA

or disabilities is the Advocacy
Center.

Advocacy Center
1010 Common Street, Suite 2600
New Orleans, LA 70112
(800) 960-7705
http://www.advocacyla.org/index.
php

The Advocacy Center is a nonprofit advocacy organization. It
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in state and parish prisons
in Louisiana. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy

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1831

network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.
The Advocacy Center‘s work contributed to a consent decree in
2001 that protected deaf inmates
in the Orleans Parish Prison.107

107. Advocacy
Ctr.,
Major
Events in the History of the Advocacy
Center,
http://www.advocacyla.org/publicati
ons/HistoryofAC.pdf (last visited
Jan. 24, 2010).

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

MAINE

x

x

Office of
Program
Evaluation and
Government
Accountability

x

x

Maine provides external oversight of its prisons through its
citizen prison advisory committee known as the Board of Visitors,
which
has
statutory
authority to inspect the prisons
at any time and without notice.
There is no external prison oversight mechanism in Maine with
sanctioning authority.

x

x

x

Lay

x

x

Inspectors

Professional

x

Maine State
Prison Board
of Visitors

Golden Key

x

Limited

x

Single Issue

x

Restricted

General Corrections

General Government

Access

x

If Needed

Single Jail

Issues Covered

Routine

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Maine
Department of
Corrections

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x
x
x

fice of Program Evaluation and
Government
Accountability.
While the office focuses on government agencies in general, it
is currently conducting a review
of prison conditions and medical
care for inmates.

Audits of the prison system may
be conducted by the state‘s Of-

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Oversight of jails is provided by
the Department of Corrections.108
Maine‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons who are mentally ill or
disabled is the Disability Rights
Center.

Disability Rights Center
P.O. Box 2007
Augusta, ME 04338-2007
(207) 626-2774
http://www.drcme.org/

The Disability Rights Center is a
non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Maine. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

108. Me.
Dep‘t
of
Corr.,
http://www.maine.gov/corrections/ad
min.htm (last visited Jan. 24, 2010).

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1833

Maine Department of
Corrections
25 Tyson Drive, SHS #111
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 287-2711
http://www.maine.gov/correction
s/admin.htm

The Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) is responsible for
inspecting the county jail facilities in the state. The County
Jail Inspections section is
housed under the Director of
Operations in the DOC.109 According to statute, the Commissioner of Corrections must
establish standards for local
jails. These jails must be inspected comprehensively every
two years, and must be visited at
least three other times between
comprehensive inspections. The
jails can be inspected at any
time, without notice. Noncompliant facilities have a set
period of time to respond to inspection reports and correct any
problems, and the Commissioner
can restrict their operations if
the response is found to be inadequate. The Commissioner
can also close a facility immediately if conditions are unsafe,
for a period of 90 days.110

109. Id.
110. ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit.
34-A, § 1208 (1983).

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Maine State Prison
Board of Visitors
807 Cushing Road
Warren, ME 04864
(207) 359-4651
http://www.state.me.us/correction
s/Facilities/msp/mspBoVisitorsN
ew.htm

The Maine State Prison Board of
Visitors is an oversight and advisory citizens committee established for each prison facility in
the state. Each board is comprised
of
five
Governorappointees, one of whom must be
licensed in Maine to provide
mental health services.111 The
Board
was
created
under
M.R.S.A.
34-A,
subsection
3002.112
The Board‘s job is to represent
the interests of the people of
Maine in prison matters. It focuses on the safety and security
of the public, prison staff, and
inmates, as well as inmate
health and prison industries and
programs.113

111. An Act to Improve the
Role of Boards of Visitors for State
Correctional Facilities, Public Law
Chapter 216 (2005), available at
http://www.mainelegislature.org/legi
s/bills/bills_122nd/chapters/PUBLIC
216-1.asp.
112. Id.
113. Dep‘t of Corr., Me. State
Prison
Bd.
of
Visitors,
http://www.state.me.us/corrections/F
acilities/msp/mspBoVisitorsNew.htm

[Vol. 30:5

The Board has only advisory authority. Its job is to be as public
as possible in its deliberations
and tenacious in its explorations. Members have the authority to go anywhere in the
prison at any time, as long as
doing so does not conflict with
the ability of the prison to manage itself. If problems arise, the
Board will bring them to the attention of prison administration.
If the prison‘s justification is unsatisfactory, the Board of Visitors can take concerns to the
Governor, Commissioner, or legislative committee responsible
for prison issues. The job of the
Board of Visitors is to advocate
for the whole prison.114 The
Board also produces an annual
report and provides it to the facility chief, commissioner of corrections, and the joint legislative
committee with corrections responsibilities.115

(last visited Jan. 26, 2010).
114. Telephone Interview with
Jon Wilson, Chair, Me. State Prison
Bd. of Visitors, by Amanda Barstow
(Nov. 19, 2009).
115. Id.

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1835

Office of Program
Evaluation and
Government
Accountability
82 State House Station
Room 107, Cross State Office
Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0082
(207) 287-1901
http://www.maine.gov/legis/opega
/index.shtml

The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) was established
by the Maine Legislature in
2004 as an independent, bipartisan agency to conduct performance audits of state government entities and make
recommendations to the legislature. While most of its work is
unrelated to prison issues, it recently completed a review of correctional
management
and
working conditions for corrections staff,116 and in late 2009, it
will begin its first review of issues affecting incarcerated individuals. This audit will focus on
the quality of and access to medical care at the facilities, and it
was requested by the Government Oversight Committee of
the state legislature.117

116. Me. State Legislature Office of Program Evaluation & Gov‘t
Accountability, OPEGA Work Plan
for
2009-2010,
http://www.maine.gov/legis/opega/W
IP.html (last visited Jan. 26, 2010).
117. Telephone Interview by
Amanda Barstow with Beth Ash-

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croft, Director, Me. Office of Program Evaluation and Gov‘t Accountability (June 29, 2009).

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

Maryland is one of the few states
to use an independent commission to provide oversight of correctional facilities. The state
has an independent body, the
Commission on Correctional
Standards (CCS), that operates
under a statutory mandate to
monitor state prisons and local
jails. The standards monitored
by CCS include those relating to
use of force, security, searches,
record keeping, transportation,
inmate safety, health, provisions, housing, and special detention.
After an inspection,
CCS develops a compliance plan,
adherence to which is required

x

Inspectors

Professional

x

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

x

Monitoring

Preventative

x

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Commission on
Correctional
Standards

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

MARYLAND

x

to avoid sanctions, which can include facility closure.118
Although not directly relevant to
this report since the focus is not
adults, it is worth highlighting
that Maryland provides oversight for juvenile facilities in the
form of a Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit housed within the
state Attorney General‘s office

118. Md. Dep‘t of Pub. Safety &
Corr. Servs., Comm‘n on Corr. Standards,
Audit
Process,
http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/public
info/publications/pdfs/e.pdf (last visited Jan. 26, 2010) [hereinafter
Maryland Audit Process].

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50-STATE INVENTORY

(between 2002 and 2006, this
had been organized as an Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor in the Governor‘s Office of
Children, Youth, and Families).119 There is no equivalent
in the state for the adult prison
system.
Maryland‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is the Maryland
Disability Law Center (MDLC).

Commission on Correctional Standards
115 Sudbrook Lane, Suite 200
Pikesville, MD 21208
(410) 585-3830
http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/abo
utdpscs/ataglance.shtml

The Commission on Correctional
Standards has members appointed by the Governor, and its
role is to advise the Secretary on
issues related to standards for
state and local correctional facilities. It has both a regulatory
function and an inspection function, and there are detailed audit procedures applicable to
these reviews.120 Commission
staff are responsible for auditing

119. Md. Attorney Gen., Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit,
http://www.oag.state.md.us/JJMU/i
ndex.htm (last visited Jan. 26,
2010).
120. See
Maryland
Audit
Process, supra note 114.

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1837

facilities to determine compliance with standards and for
writing audit reports that are
provided to the Secretary. The
Commission relies on trained volunteers known as ―Duly Authorized Inspectors,‖ mostly existexisting correctional and police
officers, to carry out these inspections and to draft the audit
reports, which are then reviewed
by Commission members. If inspectors are correctional officers,
they are not necessarily from the
facilities that they are to inspect.
Facilities are given a 60-day notice before inspections.121 If a
facility does not comply with the
Commission‘s recommendations
after the Commission has found
them to be in violation, the
Commission can sanction that
facility, including forcing it to
close. The Commission can also
provide technical assistance
where necessary.122 The Commission‘s Audit Reports are
available in the Enoch Pratt
Public Library in Maryland and
the Legislative Library in Annapolis, Maryland.123

121. Id.
122. Id.
123. E-mail from Renard E.
Brooks, Executive Director, Maryland Commission on Correctional
Standards, to William Vetter (Mar.
31, 2006).

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[Vol. 30:5

Maryland Disability
Law Center
The Walbert Building,
1800 North Charles Street, Suite
400
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 727-6352
http://www.mdlclaw.org/chemica
lcms/home.php

The Maryland Disability Law
Center is a non-profit legal services organization. It advocates
for and protects the rights of
people with disabilities and
mental illness, including those
in prisons and jails in Maryland.
As part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed.

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1839

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts
Department of
CorrectionsPolicy
Development
and Compliance
Unit

x

x

x

x

x

Inspectors

x

x

Lay

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

General Government

If Needed

x

We have identified no formal external prison oversight mechanism that currently exists in
Massachusetts, with one exception: the legal advocacy organization
Massachusetts
Correctional Legal Services has
an established project that allows it to gain access to correctional facilities in order to
investigate specific claims of
brutality against inmates.

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Issues Covered

Professional

x

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Restricted

Massachusetts
Correctional
Legal Services

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

For a brief period of time, there
was a statewide commission focused on corrections issues. Following the murder of a highprofile inmate in 2003, Governor
Mitt Romney appointed Attorney General Scott Harshbarger
to chair a new Commission for
Corrections Reform.124
The

124. Letter from Kathleen M.
Dennehy, Comm‘r, Mass. Dep‘t of

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Commission reviewed the operations of the corrections system
and made recommendations for
reform. These proposed reforms
covered areas such as fiscal
management, public safety and
re-entry,
and
leadership. 125
Governor Romney then created
the Correctional Advisory Council to address these issues.
However, according to the Chair
of the Commission, the council
―faltered‖ when it attempted to
gain the independence necessary
to enact those recommendations,126 and the Council is no
longer operational.
Certain legislators have taken
an interest in prison oversight
issues and have repeatedly filed
bills to enhance transparency of

Corr., to Comm‘n on Safety & Abuse
in Am.‘s Prisons (Oct. 13, 2005),
available
at
http://www.prisoncommission.org/st
atements/dennehy.pdf.
125. The Commonwealth of
Mass. Governor‘s Comm‘n on Corr.
Reform, Final Report, Strengthening Public Safety, Increasing Accountability, and Instituting Fiscal
Responsibility in the Dep‘t of Corr.
(2004),
available
at
http://www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/eop
s/GovCommission_Corrections_Refo
rm.pdf.
126. Scott Harshbarger, Implementing Corrections Reform: A
Major Public Safety Challenge and
Opportunity, Address at the Fourth
Public Hearing, Comm‘n on Safety
& Abuse in Am.‘s Prisons 2 (Feb. 9,
2006) (transcript available at
http://www.prisoncommission.org/st
atements/harshbarger_scott.pdf).

[Vol. 30:5

prisons through use of Citizen
Review Boards. To date, these
bills have not passed.
With regard to jail oversight, the
Massachusetts Department of
Corrections‘ Policy Development
and Compliance Unit conducts
regular inspections of county
jails to assess compliance with
statutory regulations and national standards.
Massachusetts‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is the Disability Law Center. Similarly,
the Disabled Persons Protection
Commission has access to prisons in order to ensure that disabled persons are not abused in
corrections facilities.

Disability Law Center,
Inc.
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston, Massachusetts, 02108
(617) 723-8455,
(800) 872-9992
http://www.dlc-ma.org/

The Disability Law Center
(DLC) is a non-profit advocacy
organization. It advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons
and jails in Massachusetts. As
part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with

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1841

disabilities and mental illness
are housed.

Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services

Disabled Persons Protection Commission

Eight Winter Street, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 482-2773
http://www.mcls.net/home

300 Granite Street, Suite 404
Braintree, MA 02184
(617) 727-6465
http://www.mass.gov/dppc/

The Disabled Persons Protection
Commission is a state agency
that is statutorily mandated to
―protect adults with mental and
physical disabilities, between
the ages of 18 and 59, from
abuse or neglect by their caregiver(s),‖ presumably including
those in correctional facilities. 127
―Mandated Reporters‖ at state
facilities must report suspected
abuse, which the DPPC can investigate.128 Available information does not indicate the extent
to which the DPPC actually
handles prisoner-related cases,
and so this organization is not
listed in the chart above.

127. The Commonwealth of
Mass. Disabled Persons Prot.
Comm‘n,
http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=dppct
erminal&L=2&L0=Home&L1=About+DP
PC&sid=Idppc&b=terminalcontent&
f=about_overview&csid=Idppc (last
visited Jan. 27, 2010).
128. Id.

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Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services (MCLS) is a prisoner legal advocacy organization
that handles prison conditions
issues on an individual or classaction basis. One of the organization‘s priority issues is brutality against prisoners.
When
there is an allegation involving
brutality and a prisoner has
filed a grievance, the corrections
agency allows MCLS staff to
have immediate access to the
prisoner who alleged abuse, as
well as access to any witnesses.
Staff are allowed cameras for the
collection of evidence.
Aside
from this program, they only
have access typical of any legal
advocate.129

129. Interview by William Vetter with James Pingeon, Mass. Corr.
Legal Servs. (July 26, 2006).

88

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[Vol. 30:5

Massachusetts Department of Corrections,
Policy Development and
Compliance Unit
Warren Hall
P.O. Box 628
Bridgewater, MA 02324
(508) 279-3821
http://www.mass.gov/doc

The prison agency‘s Policy Development and Compliance Unit
conducts regular inspections and
provides technical assistance to
ensure that county correctional
institutions comply with statutory regulations and correctional
standards. It does not appear
that the Unit has any enforcement authority, however.

89

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1843

MICHIGAN

x

x

We have identified no formal external prison oversight mechanism in Michigan. Before 2003,
Michigan had an ombudsman
with authority to investigate and
monitor
prison
conditions
throughout the state. The position was eliminated in 2003 due
to budget constraints, and to
date, no agency has been established to replace this office. The
statute for the ombudsman re-

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x
x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Lay

Professional

x

Inspectors

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

x

Limited

x

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Single Jail

x

Routine

Michigan
Department of
Corrections,
County Jail
Services
Section
Michigan
Protection &
Advocacy
Service, Inc.

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Office of the
Auditor
General

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

mains; however, the office is not
active.130
The Auditor General of Michigan conducts routine reviews
and financial audits of all state

130. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Barbara Levine, Executive Dir., Citizens Alliance on Prisons & Pub. Spending
(Mar. 24, 2006).

90

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agencies.131 This office also conducts performance audits of individual corrections facilities. 132
Although these audits are often
concerned with general safety in
the institutions, they appear to
focus on management issues
more so than on prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners, and rely heavily on
reports and materials gathered
from the DOC rather than on
observations and prisoner interviews.133 Nonetheless, it seems
worth including this office in the
chart above because of the frequency of its reporting on individual prison facilities.
It is worth noting that Michigan
has begun an extensive quality
assurance initiative regarding
its correctional health care program. Because this is an internal accountability system for the
DOC, we do not list it among the
oversight entities in the chart,
but we wanted to highlight the
program because it is fairly unusual in its scope.

131. See generally Mich. Office
of
the
Auditor
Gen.,
http://audgen.michigan.gov/
(last
visited Jan. 28, 2010).
132. Id.
133. See Mich. Office of the Auditor Gen.,
http://audgen.michigan.gov/new_rel
eases.htm (last visited Jan. 28,
2010).

[Vol. 30:5

The Department of Corrections
(DOC) has oversight of the local
jails in Michigan.
Michigan‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc.
This P&A organization is unusually active when it comes to
monitoring prison-related matters and warrants particular
mention in the chart above.

Michigan Department of
Corrections, County
Jail Services Section
P.O. Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 335-1426
http://www.michigan.gov/correcti
ons/0,1607,7-119-9741_49414222849—,00.html

The County Jail Services Section
of the Planning and Community
Development Administration of
the Michigan Department of
Corrections is responsible for
―inspecting and auditing county
jails for compliance with state
law and administrative rules
and reviewing and providing
technical assistance and consultation services to the jails.‖134
The office also receives and re-

134. MICH. DEP‘T OF CORR.
POLICY DIRECTIVE: DEP‘T ORG. AND
RESPONSIBILITY
6
(2009),
http://www.michigan.gov/documents
/corrections/01_01_101_275804_7.pd
f.

91

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50-STATE INVENTORY

views complaints from jail inmates. The office does not have
authority to close a facility for
non-compliance, but can submit
a closure recommendation to the
Attorney General.135

Michigan Office of the
Auditor General
201 North Washington Square,
Sixth Floor Lansing, MI 48913
(517) 334-8050
http://audgen.michigan.gov/

As part of its general responsibilities to conduct performance
audits of executive branch agencies in the state, the Auditor
General conducts regular independent evaluations of correctional facilities in Michigan, as
well as assessments of various
services and areas of operation,
such as substance abuse treatment and prisoner transportation. The primary focus of these
audits is efficiency and effectiveness, but some reports also
examine conditions related to
inmate safety.
Staff review
records and procedures of a facility as part of the audit, and
make recommendations to which
the agency must respond.136

135. Authority to Close Jails,
supra note 79, at 2.
136. MICH. OFFICE OF THE
AUDITOR GEN., 2008 ANN. REPORT
14,
http://audgen.michigan.gov/annrpt/a
nnrpt08.pdf.

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1845

Michigan Protection &
Advocacy Service, Inc.
4095 Legacy Parkway, Suite 500
Lansing, MI 48911-4263
(517) 487-1755
http://www.mpas.org/HomePage.
asp

Michigan Protection & Advocacy
Service, Inc. (MPAS) is a nonprofit advocacy organization. It
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in
Michigan. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.
MPAS has recently established
an agreement with the Michigan
Department of Corrections to
monitor conditions for mentally
ill patients housed in residential
treatment units and administrative segregation. This oversight
consists of access to the prisoner
(much as a lawyer would have)
and the area where the prisoner
resides, and is usually initiated
by a complaint by the inmate or
on the inmate‘s behalf.137 The
office also filed a lawsuit on behalf of adolescent offenders with
mental illness who are housed

137. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Mark Cody,
Counselor, Mich. Prot. & Advocacy
Serv. (Mar. 30, 2006).

92

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

within the adult prison system.138

138. Stacy Hickox, Advocating
for Youth with Disabilities in Michigan’s Prisons, EXCHANGE (Mich.
Prot. & Advocacy Serv., Lansing,
Mich.) (Spring 2007), at 11,
http://www.mpas.org/MPASFiles/Ex
change%20Su07.pdf.

93

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1847

MINNESOTA

Minnesota does not have an
agency or organization that provides oversight or monitoring of
its state prison facilities.
Previously, there was an ombudsman that handled complaints about prisons, but that
office was eliminated in 2003 for
budgetary reasons. Media and
organizations such as the ACLU
have access to prisons at the discretion of the DOC. This access

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Investigatory

Single Jail

x

Oversight
Function

Preventative

Minnesota
Department of
Corrections,
Facilities and
Enforcement
Office

Jails Statewide

Organization

Prisons Statewide

Facility

x

can include a tour of the facilities.139
The Department of Corrections
(DOC) monitors local jails.
Minnesota‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is the Minnesota
Disability Law Center.

139. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Minn. Dep‘t of
Corr. Personnel (Mar. 21, 2006).

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94

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Minnesota Department
of Corrections,
Facilities Inspection
and Enforcement Office
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite
200
St. Paul, MN 55108
(651) 361-7147
http://www.corr.state.mn.us/org/c
ommunityserv/adminserv.htm

The Minnesota Department of
Corrections has oversight responsibilities for local jails. The
Facilities Inspection and Enforcement office of the Administrative Services unit of the
Community Services Division of
the DOC is responsible for inspection and licensing of jails
and lock-ups in the state.140 By
statute, a sheriff must inspect a
lock-up in his county once per
biennium, and file a report with
the Commissioner.141
The
Commissioner establishes the
minimum standards to which
the jails must conform.142 The
Commissioner can close the facility when standards are not
met.143

[Vol. 30:5

Minnesota Disability
Law Center
430 First Avenue North, Suite
300
Minneapolis, MN 55401-1780
(612) 332-1441
http://www.mndlc.org/

Minnesota Disability Law Center is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and
protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Minnesota. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

140. Minn. Dep‘t of Corr., Admin. Servs.,
http://www.doc.state.mn.us/org/com
munityserv/adminserv.htm (last visited Jan. 30, 2009).
141. MINN. STAT. § 642.09
(2009).
142. Id. § 241.021.
143. Id.

95

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1849

MISSISSIPPI

While there is no formal external prison oversight body in
Mississippi, the Legislative Joint
Committee
on
Performance
Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) conducts performance
evaluations
of
government agencies in Mississippi, including the Department
of Corrections (DOC) and its facilities. These reviews of correctional matters go well beyond
what is typical for general government performance audits and
warrant the inclusion of this
agency in the chart above.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Joint
Committee on
Performance
Evaluation and
Expenditure
Review

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

There is no formal external jail
oversight mechanism in the
state.
Mississippi‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is Disability
Rights Mississippi, Inc.144

144. Disability Rights Miss.
Inc., Our Mission,
http://www.disabilityrightsms.com/i
ndex.php?option=com_content&view
=article&id=45&Itemid=109
(last
visited Jan. 30, 2010).

96

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PACE LAW REVIEW

Joint Committee on
Performance
Evaluation and
Expenditure Review
P.O. Box 1204
Jackson, MS 39215-1204
(601) 359-1226
http://www.peer.state.ms.us

PEER is a legislative committee
made up of senators and house
members; it has a full-time staff
of auditors and it serves as the
auditor of state agencies. The
corrections auditor, Louwill Davis, conducts extensive evaluations and reviews, responds to
complaints, and files reports
with the legislature.145 Prior to
Mr. Davis‘s involvement, PEER
reviewed the DOC strictly from
a financial perspective.
But
now, DOC audits include extensive reviews of the state penitentiaries,
unannounced
visits
(sometimes occurring at 2 a.m.),
follow-ups on inquiries and complaints, and frequent reports.
Because of the auditor‘s longtime service in the police force,
he has connections within the
prisons themselves, which allows him unique access to information. The unusual nature
of these prison performance

145. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Louwill Davis,
Corr. Auditor, Miss. Joint Comm. on
Performance Evaluation & Expenditure Review (Mar. 21, 2006).

[Vol. 30:5

evaluations in Mississippi is due
primarily to this individual.146

Disability Rights
Mississippi, Inc.
5305 Executive Place
Jackson, MS 39206
(601) 981-8207
http://www.disabilityrightsms.co
m/

Disability Rights Mississippi,
Inc. is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and
protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Mississippi. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

146. Id.

97

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1851

Joint
Legislative
Committee on
Corrections

x

x

x

In Missouri, oversight of state
corrections facilities is primarily
carried out by the Joint Legislative Committee on Corrections,
which has inspection responsibilities. The Missouri DOC also
uses a ―Citizens Advisory Committee,‖ which reviews inmate
grievances and makes regular
site visits. 147

Inspectors

Professional

x
x

x
x

Lay

Access

Restricted

Limited

Single Issue

x

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

Single Jail

Preventative

x

If Needed

x

Monitoring

Routine

Citizens
Advisory
Committee

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

MISSOURI

x
x

There is no formal external jail
oversight mechanism in the
state.
Missouri‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Missouri Protection & Advocacy.

147. Mo.
Dep‘t
of
Corr.,
http://doc.mo.gov/division_adult.php
(last visited Jan. 30, 2010).

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98

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Citizens Advisory
Committee
2729 Plaza Drive
P.O. Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-2389

http://doc.mo.gov/division_ad
ult.php
This Committee is part of the
DOC, and consists of thirteen
private citizens appointed by the
governor who serve for three
years. Committee members consider significant inmate grievances referred by the DOC, visit
facilities on a scheduled basis,
and make recommendations to
DOC administration.148 If they
find that the DOC has not adequately addressed an issue, they
can refer it to the Department of
Public Safety for further consideration.149

[Vol. 30:5

Joint Legislative
Committee on
Corrections
State Capitol, 201 West Capitol
Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101
http://www.senate.mo.gov/06info/
comm/statutory/jccr.htm

The Committee is tasked with
oversight of state prisons, and
includes legislators from both
the House and Senate. These
legislators are required to visit,
at least once a year, all twentyone of Missouri‘s state correctional facilities, to monitor conditions.150 These visits are made
unannounced in the six months
when the Legislature is out of
session.
Legislators on the
Committee will at times bring
subject-matter experts on the
tours with them or contract out
certain review responsibilities,
such as the best practices for accounting or medical procedures.151
The Committee also responds to
inmate complaints throughout
the year, and makes recommendations for legislative action.
The Committee submits an annual report on its findings to the
legislature.

148. Id.
149. State of Mo., Executive
Order
No.
86-27
(1986),
http://www.sos.mo.gov/library/refere
nce/orders/1986/eo1986_027.asp.

150. MO. REV. STAT. § 21.455
(2009).
151. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Dani Moore,
Representative, Mo. House of Representatives (Mar. 21, 2006).

99

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1853

Missouri Protection &
Advocacy
925 South Country Club Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109
(573) 893-3333
http://www.moadvocacy.org/

Missouri Protection & Advocacy
is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Missouri. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

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100

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

MONTANA

Corrections
Advisory
Council

x

x

We have identified no formal external prison oversight mechanism in Montana. However, there
is a gubernatorial-appointed
Corrections Advisory Council
that is responsible for reviewing
corrections policies and strategies, but is not focused on prison
conditions.
The Council has
complete access to all state corrections facilities.
Montana does not have a formal
external jail oversight entity.
Montana‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

disabilities is Disability Rights
Montana.

Corrections Advisory
Council
http://www.cor.mt.gov/Resources/
CorAdvCouncil/default.mcpx

The Corrections Advisory Council was created by Executive Order in 2007. The Order expired
in 2009, but is expected to be
reinstated by the Governor. 152

152. Telephone Interview by
Amanda Barstow with Bob Anez,
Commc‘ns Dir., Mont. Dep‘t of Corr.
(Nov. 20, 2009).

101

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

The Council meets approximately every other month, usually at
or near a state corrections facility, in order to allow for members
to tour the facility. The members have full access to all
units.153
The Council comprises a variety
of members who are appointed
by the Governor. The membership includes Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger (chairman of
the council), a district attorney,
district court judge, chief of police, district court administrator,
county sheriff, victims‘ advocate,
state senator, chief juvenile probation officer and a state representative.
The Council analyzes current
corrections policies and makes
recommendations
on
future
needs within the corrections system, including the need for prison construction. The Council‘s
recommendations focus on strategies to reduce incarceration and
recidivism with an emphasis on
the American Indian population
in the justice system.154 Other
issues include reporting on prison lockdowns, current litigation,
population projections, and staff
recruitment.155
The Council
153. E-mail from Bob Anez,
Commc‘ns Dir., Mont. Dep‘t of Corr.,
to Ren Nance (Mar. 27, 2006) [hereinafter Anez E-mail].
154. Id.
155. Dep‘t of Corr. Advisory
Council Meeting Minutes, January

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1855

seeks regular input from community- based organizations, local government officials, court
personnel, law enforcement officials, and community members
interested in the justice system
or mental health and addictive
behavior treatments.156
Recommendations are presented
to the Department of Corrections, the Governor, and the
Legislature. The Council reports
to the Governor and the Legislature at least once per year and
recommends
legislative
changes.157

Disability Rights
Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 449-2344
http://www.disabilityrightsmt.org

Disability Rights Montana is a
non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,

31, 2006, held at Mont. State Prison
in
Deer
Lodge,
MT,
http://www.cor.mt.gov/content/Resou
rces/CorAdvCouncil/Archive/Januar
y2006/Summary.pdf.
156. Anez E-mail, supra note
149.
157. State of Mont., Office of
the Governor, Executive Order—
No.22-2007,
http://www.cor.mt.gov/content/Resou
rces/CorAdvCouncil/2007executiveor
der.pdf. (last visited Feb. 4, 2010).

102

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[Vol. 30:5

including those in prisons and
jails in Montana. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

103

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1857

NEBRASKA

Ombudsman for
Corrections
Nebraska Crime
Commission,
Jail Standards
Division

x

x
x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors
Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

x

Access
Single Issue

General
Corrections

General
Government

Issues Covered

x

Nebraska has a legislative Ombudsman agency that has a special
division
focused
on
corrections issues.
The Ombudsman for Corrections receives complaints and conducts
investigations
into
prisonrelated matters. The Ombudsman is independent of the Nebraska
Department
of
Correctional Services (DCS), and
does not have authority to
mandate changes. Nevertheless,
its past recommendations have

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

spurred reform in the delivery of
prison medical care.158
Nebraska also has a statutorilycreated and independent agency,
the Jail Standards Division of
the Nebraska Crime Commission, which has oversight au-

158. Neb. Pub. Counsel, The
Ombudsman, The Thirty-First Annual Report of the Neb. Pub. Counsel
(2001),
available
at
http://nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/
reports/public_counsel/03ombudsma
n_0503.pdf [hereinafter Thirty-First
Annual Report of the Neb. Pub.
Counsel].

104

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thority of the county jails. Inspections may be conducted at
any time, with each jail visited
once a year. The Division also
has the power to close jail facilities that do not comply with its
recommendations for improvement.
Nebraska‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is Nebraska Advocacy Services, Inc.

Nebraska Advocacy
Services, Inc.
The Center for Disability Rights,
Law and Advocacy
134 South 13th Street, Suite 600
Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 474-3183
http://www.nebraskaadvocacyser
vices.org/

Nebraska Advocacy Services,
Inc. is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and
protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Nebraska. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

[Vol. 30:5

Nebraska Crime
Commission,
Jail Standards Division
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94946
Lincoln, NE 68509-4946
(402) 471-2194
http://www.ncc.state.ne.us/crime_
Commission/organization_and_functions
/jail_standards.htm

The Jail Standards Division of
the statutorily-created Nebraska
Crime Commission was established to implement and enforce
mandatory minimum standards
in both adult and juvenile county detention facilities. The Division
is
governed
by
an
independent, 11-member Jail
Standards Board, nine of whom
are Governor appointees (including county commissioners, a
sheriff and police chief, a juvenile detention administrator, a
jail administrator, a Nebraska
State Bar member, and two
community members). The remaining two members, the state
fire marshal and the director of
the Department of Correctional
Services (DCS), are mandated to
serve by statute. The Board
meets four times a year, but may
also convene for emergency
meetings.
The Division has legislative authority to visit and inspect jail
facilities at any time, and generally visits each once a year, averaging
twenty
visits
per

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50-STATE INVENTORY

quarter. Staff submit reports on
a variety of issues, including operational, structural, medical,
and policy-related, and make
recommendations to the Jail
Standards Board. Each facility
then has six months to either
solve the problem or propose a
solution. After six months, Division staff return to see if the issues of concern have been
addressed and corrected. If the
facility fails to comply with the
recommendations, the Division
has the power to pursue closure.
Reportedly, 98% of the jails are
in compliance.159

Ombudsman-Office of
the Public Counsel,
Ombudsman for
Corrections
State Capitol Building, Room
807
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509-4604
(402) 471-2035
http://nebraskalegislature.gov/co
ntact/ombud.php

The Ombudsman-Office of the
Public Counsel is a statutorilycreated legislative agency that
responds to complaints about
state government agencies, including those levied against the
Department of Correctional Ser-

159. Telephone Interview by
Michelle Burman with Denny Macomber, Dir., Neb. Crime Comm‘n,
Jail Standards Div. (Mar. 21, 2006).

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1859

vices (DCS).160 The office was
established in 1969, became fully operational when it received
funding in 1971, and added the
legislatively-created position of
Deputy Public Counsel for Corrections in 1976.161 Annually,
the Public Counsel reports to the
Legislature and the Governor on
what the office has done (including agencies‘ responses to its
findings), in addition to submitting any other reports the office
produces. Annual Reports are
also available on the agency‘s
website.
Approximately 3,000 complaints
are received per year, with
roughly one-third of those related to corrections and the
DCS.162 Inmate grievances include issues such as confinement
conditions and abuse by staff;
inmate appeals can be made to
courts. The office not only reviews and investigates DCS employee and inmate grievances
forwarded by the public, but also

160. NEB. REV. STAT. § 81-8, 245
(2009).
161. Neb. Pub. Counsel, The
Ombudsman, The Thirty-Sixth Annual Report of the Neb. Public
Counsel
12
(2006),
http://nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/re
ports/public_counsel/06ombudsman_
0328.pdf.
162. Telephone Interview by
Michelle Burman with Oscar Harriott, then-Deputy Pub. Counsel for
Corr., Ombudsman-Office of the
Pub. Counsel (Mar. 29, 2006) [hereinafter Harriott Interview].

106

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may initiate its own investigations. To complete its investigations, the office has access to
inmates and administrative and
correctional staff, is authorized
to inspect the ―premises . . . or
property [of] any administrative
agency as frequently as is necessary,‖163 and can issue subpoenas.
However, it lacks the
authority to enforce its recommendations; if the prison refuses
to comply, the Public Counsel
cannot mandate change, but
must persuade DCS that the
recommendations are fiscally responsible and intended to ―improve state government.‖164

[Vol. 30:5

task force interviewed correctional staff and inmates, and, in
July 2000, its report affirmed
the Public Counsel‘s findings
that the DCS medical care system was replete with ―‗serious
problems.‘‖165 By 2001, based on
the task force‘s recommendations, the Legislature passed a
bill creating a Division of Medical Services within DCS, with
the medical director reporting
directly to the DCS Commissioner. DCS was also mandated
to ―meet a ‗community standard
of care‘‖ for inmates.166

Enforcement, however, may occur indirectly, as report findings
and recommendations can be the
catalyst for amending statutes.
For example, in 1998, the office
was notified by a DCS doctor regarding the substandard quality
of medical care afforded inmates.
Upon concluding its investigation, the Public Counsel released
a report in November 1999 chronicling the litany of problems in
its delivery of medical services.
Based on these findings, the
Governor then assembled a task
force comprised of several Nebraska doctors and chaired by a
former Chief Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The

163. NEB. REV. STAT. § 81-8,245
(2009).
164. Harriott Interview, supra
note 158.

165. Thirty-First Annual Report of the Neb. Pub. Counsel, supra
note 154.
166. Id.

107

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1861

Nevada‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is the Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center,
Inc.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Routine

We have not identified any formal external jail or prison oversight mechanisms in Nevada.

Issues Covered
General Government

Monitoring

If Needed

Oversight
Function

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Organization

Prisons Statewide

Facility

Investigatory

NEVADA

Nevada Disability
Advocacy & Law Center
6039 Eldora Avenue, Suite C,
Box 3
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 257-8150,
(888) 349-3843
www.ndalc.org

Nevada Disability Advocacy &
Law Center is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates
for and protects the rights of
people with disabilities and
mental illness, including those
in prisons and jails in Nevada.
As part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional

108

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[Vol. 30:5

facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed.

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1863

NEW
HAMPSHIRE

Citizens
Advisory
Committees

x

x

New Hampshire has no formal
external prison oversight mechanism.167 However, each prison facility has a Citizen‘s
Advisory Committee to provide
public input to the department
on policy matters.168 Members

167. E-mail from Jeffrey Lyons,
Public Information Officer, N.H.
Dep‘t of Corr., to Michelle Burman
(Mar. 27, 2006).
168. N.H. DEP‘T OF CORR.
POLICY & PROCEDURE DIRECTIVE,
GEN.
ADMIN.
1.44
(2005),
http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/
documents/1-44.pdf.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors
Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access
Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

of the advisory committee are
proposed by the warden, approved by the Commissioner,
and serve three-year terms.
Under former Commissioner
Phil Stanley, who left the department in October 2003, the
DOC held ―limited public tours‖
of the state‘s prisons, believing
that ―[t]he public has a right to
know how their taxes are used to
operate the prison. They will
have an opportunity to understand modern prison life and the
programs that work to change
offender behavior. We think this

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is information that is vital to the
citizens of New Hampshire. .
..‖169 The tours, which were
scheduled every June between
2001 and 2003, offered the public an opportunity to talk with
correctional officers, learn about
the mission of each unit, and visit lower security housing and the
industries areas. Citizens had
no contact with prisoners. Waning public interest and an extremely low turnout at the later
events prompted the decision to
suspend the tours. Several hundred people reportedly participated in the first tour in 2001,
but only ―two or three‖ people
attended in 2003.170 The public
tours may be reintroduced in the
future, depending upon public
interest.171
During the 2003 legislative session, policymakers introduced
legislation to create a corrections
ombudsman office that would be
independent of the DOC, investigate complaints from DOC employees, inmates, and the public,
make recommendations to the
DOC, and report to the Governor

169. Press Release, N.H. Dep‘t
of Corr., N.H. State Prisons Schedules Public Tours (May 8, 2001),
http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/news/2001/
050801.html.
170. Telephone Interview by
Michelle Burman with Jeffrey
Lyons, Pub. Info. Officer, N.H. Dep‘t
of Corr. (Mar. 29, 2006) [hereinafter
Lyons Interview].
171. Id.

[Vol. 30:5

and the Legislature. Despite
significant support, the legislation did not pass.172 The topic
arose again during the 2006 session, precipitated by an increase
in the ―number of complaints
filed and the excessive expense
of settlements paid‖ in the previous few years, according to testimony from Rep. Anne-Marie
Irwin.173 An identical bill was
filed and referred for an interim
study in February 2006. 174
Again, the bill failed and no new
legislation has been introduced
since.
We have found no jail oversight
mechanisms in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire‘s designated
protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness and disabilities is the
Disabilities Rights Center.

172. Gen. Court H.B. 781, 2003
Sess., 158th Gen. Court (N.H. 2003),
available
at
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legi
slation/2004/hb0781.html.
173. 27 N.H. H. REC. 19 (Feb.
15,
2006),
available
at
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/hou
se/
caljourns/journals/2006/houjou2006_19
.html.
174. Lyons Interview, supra
note 166. See also H.R. 1415-FN-A,
159th General Court, 2d. Year (N.H.
2006),
available
at
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legi
slation/2006/HB1415.html; 27 N.H.
H. REC. 19, supra note 169.

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Citizens Advisory
Committees
http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/docume
nts/1-44.pdf

A citizens advisory committee is
established for each prison facility in the state pursuant to an
administrative policy directive.
According to this directive, the
committee for each facility consists of at least ten individuals
with particular interests in prison-related matters. The group is
intended to be diverse in experience and opinion, and the goal
is to include members who come
from various sectors of the lay
community. Members are nominated by the warden and are approved by the Commissioner.
Each committee is supposed to
meet at least three times per
year to consider various issues
and to advise the DOC on various policies, actions, initiatives,
programs, and public concerns,
and help provide communication
between the agency and the general public.175

1865

Disabilities Rights
Center
18 Low Avenue
Concord, NH 03301-4971
(603) 228-0432
(800) 834-1721
www.drcnh.org

The Disabilities Rights Center is
a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in New Hampshire. As part
of the nation‘s protection and
advocacy network, it has a right
of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

175. N.H. DEP‘T OF CORR.,
POLICY AND PROCEDURE DIRECTIVE,
CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEES
(2005),
http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/documents
/1-44.pdf.

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

NEW JERSEY

Department of
the Public
Advocate-Office
of Corrections
Ombudsman

x

x

The primary agency responsible
for oversight of New Jersey prisons is the newly-restored Department of the Public Advocate,
which houses the Office of Corrections Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is responsible for
reviewing and investigating
prisoner-related complaints and
making recommendations to improve conditions and treatment.
Similar to other state ombudsman offices, it does not have the
power to mandate change in the
institutions.

x

x

x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

x

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

x

Monitoring

Preventative

New Jersey
Department of
Corrections,
Office of County
Services

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

The New Jersey Department of
Corrections has oversight of all
county jails in the state. It, too,
cannot enforce its recommendations or require that changes be
made.
Another organization with an
interest in monitoring New Jersey‘s prisons and jails is the nonprofit, Quaker-based American
Friends
Service
Committee
(AFSC).
The Prison Watch
Project, one of AFSC‘s national
criminal justice programs, moni-

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50-STATE INVENTORY

tors prisoner abuse and torture,
with a focus on the use of isolation and torture devices, and the
long-lasting psychological effects
of both on inmates. Although
the AFSC does not qualify as a
formal monitoring body for purposes of this report, its work is
worth noting. Prison Watch collects personal stories of physical
and psychological abuse from
prisoners, their families, and
correctional staff.
Although
project staff members are not
formally recognized as ―prison
monitors,‖ and have no special
status or legal right or responsibility to inspect prisons and
their conditions, they do have
access to prisons as regular visitors, who meet individually with
the inmates behind the stories.
If AFSC receives testimony from
several prisoners alleging similar complaints, that is sufficient
for the Project to classify the situation as problematic and deserving
of
scrutiny
and
monitoring. Reports are then
compiled and submitted to the
Human Rights Watch U.N.
Committee on Torture.
AFSC is currently working on
expanding the Prison Watch
Project as a national model and
creating a ―National Oversight
Campaign‖; however, the organization does not anticipate its
transformation into a formal
body with rights to access facilities for the purpose of inspecting

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

1867

and monitoring prison living
conditions.176
New Jersey‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for disabled and mentally ill persons is Disability Rights New
Jersey.

Department of the
Public Advocate,
Division of Citizens
Relations, Office of
Corrections
Ombudsman
240 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Main Office: (609) 826-5090
Corrections Ombudsman: (609)
633-2596
http://www.state.nj.us/publicadv
ocate/citizens/inmates/

After some time as a division of
the New Jersey Department of
Corrections (DOC), in 2006, the
Office of the Ombudsman was
transferred to the independent
Department of the Public Advocate (PA), in the Division of Citizens Relations. It now operates
as the Office of Corrections Ombudsman, and it functions independently of the DOC.
The PA was created legislatively
in 1974 and was granted over176. Telephone Interview by
Michelle Burman with Bonnie Kerness, Coordinator, Am. Friends
Serv. Comm., Prison Watch Project
(Mar. 21, 2006).

114

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[Vol. 30:5

sight authority of other state
agencies to impose accountability. The office was abolished in
1994, but was restored in 2006,
following a shift in the political
climate. The Public Advocate is
appointed by the Governor, and
reports directly to the Legislature.

―institutional remedies‖ before
forwarding a complaint to the
PA. However, the office will become involved immediately if the
health or safety of inmates or
correctional staff is in jeopardy,
and staff may initiate their own
investigations.178

In addition to the Corrections
Ombudsman, four assistant ombudsmen review and investigate
prisoner-related complaints. 177
Each assistant ombudsman is
stationed at a different facility
at least three or four days a
week.
A toll-free number is
available and answered during
regular business hours for those
wishing to contact the main office directly.

New Jersey Department
of Corrections, Office of
County Services

Staff have full access to prisons
at any time to investigate complaints, talk to correctional staff
and inmates, monitor living conditions and treatment, and review policies and procedures to
ensure compliance with federal
and state codes, and the Civil
Rights Act. The office lacks the
authority to pursue closure of
DOC facilities. Inmates are also
encouraged to use the internal
grievance process first and seek

177. N.J. Dep‘t of the Pub. Advocate, Office of the Corr. Ombudsman,
http://www.state.nj.us/publicadvocat
e/citizens/whatisthecorrectionsombu
dsman.html (last visited Feb. 7,
2010).

Whittlesey Road
P.O. Box 863
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-4036
http://www.state.nj.us/correction
s/index.shtml

The New Jersey Department of
Corrections (DOC), Office of
County Services is responsible
by statute for inspecting conditions at 22 jail facilities and 376
municipal detention facilities in
the state.179 Staff issue reports
and make recommendations for
improvement, and corrective action must be initiated within 60
days.180 The DOC must re-

178. Telephone Interview by
Michelle Burman with Luis Silva,
then-Corr. Ombudsman, Dep‘t of the
Pub. Advocate, Office of the Corr.
Ombudsman (Mar. 30, 2006).
179. N.J. Dep‘t of Corr., Div. of
Programs and Cmty. Serv., Office of
County
Servs.,
http://www.state.nj.us/corrections/st
ructure/html/community.html#1.
180. N.J. ADMIN. CODE §
10A:31-2.2 (2010).

115

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1869

inspect the facility to see if
changes have been made, and
have authority to enforce corrective action by ordered a county
facility to cease admissions.181

Disability Rights New
Jersey
210 South Broad Street, Third
Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608
(609) 292-9742
http://www.drnj.org/

Disability Rights New Jersey is
a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in New Jersey. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

181. Id. § 10A:31-2.5.

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

NEW MEXICO

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

New Mexico does not currently
have any formal external jail or
prison oversight mechanisms.
In 2008, however, key stakeholders in the state began considering
the
potential
for
developing a correctional oversight body, pursuant to legislation that created a Corrections
Task Force and directed it to
consider the oversight issue.182

sons is Disability Rights New
Mexico.

New Mexico‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for mentally ill or disabled per-

Disability Rights New Mexico is
a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in New Mexico. As part of

182. NM H.M. 72 (2007).

Disability Rights New
Mexico
1720 Louisiana Boulevard NE,
Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 256-3100
http://www.nmpanda.org/index2.
html

117

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1871

the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

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[Vol. 30:5

NEW YORK

x

General Corrections

General Government

Inspectors

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

New York is one of the few
states whose jails and prisons
are monitored by more than one
external agency. The New York
State Commission of Correction,
a permanent and independent
government body, has enforcement power and oversight of all
correctional facilities in the state
(including state prisons in the

Restricted

x

Golden Key

x

Single Issue

x

Limited

x

If Needed

Lay

x

Access

Professional

x

Issues Covered

Routine

New York
City Board of
Correction
New York
State
Commission
of Correction

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Correctional
Association of
New York,
Prison Visiting
Project

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), the New York City
Department
of
Correction
(DOC), and county jails operated
by local sheriff and county corrections departments). It is a
regulatory agency with the authority not only to access the
jails and prisons at any time, but
also to subpoena witnesses and

119

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50-STATE INVENTORY

pursue closure of a facility it
considers
unsafe
or
noncompliant with the established
minimum standards.
The Correctional Association of
New York (CA), a non-profit advocacy organization, also has
access to correctional facilities.
Pursuant to statutory authority,
the CA‘s Prison Visiting Project
organizes teams of citizen volunteers to conduct monthly visits
to prison facilities and interview
inmates and staff. The CA then
submits a report with its recommendations to the Legislature and the Commissioner of
the DOCS. However, the CA
lacks the power to enforce its
recommendations, and cannot
sanction a facility for noncompliance.
Although the New York State
Commission of Correction provides state-level oversight of the
New York City jail system (the
NYCDOC) along with all other
jails in the state, the NYCDOC
is also subjected to local oversight by an independent agency
called the New York City Board
of Correction. The Board of Correction sets minimum standards
of care for all New York City
jails and ensures compliance
with those standards. At the
city level, the Board‘s power and
responsibilities parallel those of
the Commission‘s; that is, it has
the authority to make unannounced visits to inspect and
monitor treatment and living

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1873

conditions, submit reports to the
mayor and DOC, and has enforceable subpoena power.
For a brief window of a couple of
years, the Prisoners Rights
Project (PRP) of the Legal Aid
Society, a non-profit legal advocacy organization, had monitoring responsibilities in the New
York City jail system with regard to use of force issues. This
monitoring authority arose as
part of the settlement of the case
of Ingles v. Toro,183 and was an
alternative to court oversight.
PRP lawyers had access to the
jails and the prisoners to ensure
the implementation of, and compliance with, the DOC‘s revised
use of force policies.184 The settlement—and the PRP‘s formal
monitoring authority— however,
expired on November 1, 2009.
The PRP continues to keep close
tabs on this issue, as well as on
other concerns about conditions
of confinement in the jails, but
no longer has extensive access to
the facilities.185
Another organization with an
interest in monitoring New
York‘s prisons and jails is the
non-profit, Quaker-based Ameri-

183. 438 F. Supp. 2d 203
(S.D.N.Y. 2006).
184. Julia Preston, New York
Deal Restricts Force by Jail Guards,
N.Y. TIMES, Mar. 1, 2006, at A1.
185. E-mail from John Boston,
Prisoner‘s Rights Project, to Michele
Deitch, (Nov. 19, 2009).

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can Friends Service Committee
(AFSC).
The AFSC branch
based in New Jersey focuses on
the New York and New Jersey
Metropolitan Region. The Prison Watch Project, one of AFSC‘s
national criminal justice programs, monitors prisoner abuse
and torture, with a focus on the
use of isolation and torture devices, and the long-lasting psychological effects of both on
inmates. Although the AFSC
does not qualify as a formal
monitoring body for purposes of
this report, due to its lack of
access to facilities, its work is
worth noting. Prison Watch collects personal stories of physical
and psychological abuse from
prisoners, their families, and
correctional staff.
Although
project staff are not formally
recognized as ―prison monitors,‖
and have no special status or legal right or responsibility to inspect
prisons
and
their
conditions, they do have access
to prisons as regular visitors,
who meet individually with the
inmates behind the stories. If
AFSC receives testimony from
several prisoners alleging similar complaints, that is sufficient
for the Project to classify the situation as problematic and deserving
of
scrutiny
and
monitoring. Reports are then
compiled and submitted to the
Human Rights Watch U.N.
Committee on Torture.
The AFSC is currently working
on expanding the Prison Watch

[Vol. 30:5

Project as a national model and
creating a ―National Oversight
Campaign‖; however, the organization does not anticipate its
transformation into a formal
body with rights to access facilities for the purpose of inspecting
and monitoring prison living
conditions.186
New York‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons who are mentally ill
or disabled is the New York
State Commission on Quality of
Care and Advocacy for Persons
with Disabilities.

The Correctional
Association of New
York, Prison Visiting
Project
2090 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.,
Suite 200
New York, NY 10027
(212) 254-5700
http://www.correctionalassociati
on.org/PVP/index.htm

The Correctional Association of
New York (CA), a non-profit
criminal justice agency, was
granted legislative authority in
1846 to inspect state prisons and
submit reports to the Legislature and to the public on prison
conditions.
The Legislature,

186. Telephone Interview by
Michelle Burman with Bonnie Kerness, Coordinator, Am. Friends
Serv. Comm., Prison Watch Project
(Mar. 21, 2006).

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50-STATE INVENTORY

however, neither controls nor
dictates the CA‘s agenda. The
CA focuses on monitoring and
inspecting facilities, reporting
findings, developing policy, and
increasing public awareness
about prison conditions and policies, their effects on prisoners
and correctional staff, and alternatives to incarceration.
As its name implies, the CA‘s
Prison Visiting Project (PVP) is
responsible for conducting prison
visits to monitor confinement
conditions. The Prison Visiting
Committee, which includes Association staff and board members, correctional, medical, and
mental health experts, former
prisoners, and citizens—none of
whom is appointed or selected by
the
Legislature—makes announced monthly visits to the
state‘s male facilities, typically
visiting one prison per month.
(The Association‘s Women in
Prison Project is the female
counterpart to the PVP and
monitors the female units.) The
PVP has access to all areas of
the prisons, and may speak with
any inmate, including those who
have not made a formal complaint or filed a grievance, and
New York Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) staff.
Conversations with inmates are
not guaranteed the right of confidentiality; however, Committee
members can usually talk to

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1875

them ―out of earshot‖ of DOCS
staff.187
Staff issue both facility-specific
reports and system-wide issuefocused reports, on topics such
as health care, mental health,
and disciplinary confinement.188
DOCS is not required to provide
a written response to PVP reports. Usually there is a conference call held after the PVP
submits a draft report, and
DOCS has the opportunity to request PVP to correct any errors
in the report or to highlight any
corrective actions that have been
taken. The PVP then considers
modifying the report based on
the input they received from
DOCS.
However, the agency
does not typically commit to taking any corrective action.189

187. Corr. Assoc. of N.Y., Prison Visiting Project, Lockdown New
York: Disciplinary Confinement in
New York State Prisons 11 (Oct.
2003),
http://www.correctionalassociation.o
rg/ publications/reports.htm (follow
―Lockdown New York‖ hyperlink)
(last visited Apr. 6, 2010).
188. Corr. Assoc. of N.Y., Prison Visiting Project, List of Prison
Monitoring
Reports,
http://www.correctionalassociation.o
rg/
publications/reports.htm#PVP_monitoring
(last visited Apr. 6, 2010).
189. Telephone Interview by
Michele Deitch with Jack Beck, Director, Prison Visiting Project, Corr.
Assoc. of N.Y. (Dec. 3, 2009).

122

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Despite its inability to sanction
prisons that choose not to comply with its recommendations, the
PVP seeks to effect change
through alternate means. For
example, CA‘s June 2004 report,
Mental Health in the House of
Corrections,190 was considered a
catalyst not only for the drafting
of new legislation on mental
health in disciplinary segregation, but also for the Legislature‘s appropriating $13 million
to be divided between the Mental Health Department and
DOCS.191 The PVP has been
characterized as a unique blend
of advocacy and oversight that
promotes systemic change in
criminal justice policy.

190. Corr. Assoc. of New York,
Mental Health in the House of Corrections: A Study of Mental Health
Care in New York State Prison
(2004),
http://www.correctionalassociation.c
om/publications/download/pvp/issue
_reports/Mental-Health.pdf (last visited Apr. 6, 2010).
191. Oversight, Accountability,
and Other Issues—Beyond Government Oversight: Hearing Before the
Comm’n on Safety and Abuse 526
(Feb. 9, 2006) (statement of Jack
Beck, Dir. of the Prison Visiting
Project of the Corr. Assoc. of N.Y.),
available
at
http://www.prisonCommission.org/tr
anscripts/public_hearing_4_day_2_g_be
yond_government_oversight.pdf.

[Vol. 30:5

New York City Board of
Correction
51 Chambers Street, Room 923
New York, NY 10007
(212) 788-7840
http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/boc/

The Board of Correction is an
independent local agency with
inspection and oversight authority for all New York City jails.
The agency is responsible for
setting standards and ensuring
compliance with those standards
regarding both conditions of confinement and medical and mental health services. The Board
monitors conditions in the jails,
investigates serious incidents,
reviews inmate grievances, and
assesses the performance of the
New York City Department of
Corrections (NYCDOC). Among
the fourteen-person staff are six
field representatives who are
based on-site in the jails and
who serve as the Board‘s ―eyes
and ears.‖
The Board of Correction was
formally introduced into the
New York City charter in 1957
as a nine-member board appointed by the mayor. (Members
presently serve six-year terms,
with three members appointed
by the mayor, three by the city
council, and three by the mayor
―on the nomination jointly‖ by
the state supreme court justices
of the appellate division.) 192

192. N.Y. CITY CHARTER (as

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Since its inception, it has been
guided by the philosophy stated
in its first report released in
1958: ―An offender is sent to
prison as a punishment and not
for punishment.‖193
The Board has the authority to
inspect and visit all New York
City jails at any time, inspect all
records and documents, establish minimum standards for the
―care, custody, correction, treatment, supervision, and discipline‖194 of all inmates under
DOC supervision, prepare and
submit reports to the mayor and
Commission of the DOC, establish grievance procedures for
inmates, provide recommendations on programming, and evaluate
the
department‘s
performance. The Board was also granted enforceable subpoena
power and the authority to ―conduct hearings . . . or investigate
any matter within the jurisdiction‖ of the DOC.195

amended through July 2004), ch. 25,
§ 626(a) (2008).
193. N.Y. Corr. History Soc‘y,
First Report of the Board of Correction of the City of New York,
http://www.correctionhistory.org/ht
ml/ chronicl/bdofcorr/1958rpt1.html
(last visited Nov. 18, 2009).
194. N.Y. CITY CHARTER, ch. 25,
§ 626.4(e).
195. Id. § 626.4(f).

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1877

New York State
Commission of
Correction
80 Wolf Road, Fourth Floor,
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 485-2346
http://www.scoc.state.ny.us/

The New York State Commission of Correction (not to be confused with the New York State
Department of Correctional Services, which is also headed by a
Commissioner) is a permanent
and autonomous government
body with enforcement power
and oversight of all correctional
facilities in the state (including
state prisons in the Department
of Correctional Services, the
New York City Department of
Correction, and county jails operated by local sheriffs and
county corrections departments).
Originally known as the NYS
Commission of Prisons, it was
created in 1895 to monitor conditions in all state prisons and
correctional facilities.
The Commission has three fulltime members, all of whom are
appointed by the Governor with
Senate approval: (1) a chairperson who serves as the head of
the agency, (2) a member who
serves as the head of the Medical Review Board, and (3) a
member who serves as the head
of the Citizen‘s Policy and Complaint Review Council. It meets
monthly to discuss proposed
changes to regulations, variance
requests, and results of investi-

124

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gations, and it carries out its inspection responsibilities through
field operations staff located
around the state.
In addition to the Commission‘s
authority to visit any facility in
the state, staff members may also be placed as monitors in any
facility if the Commission characterizes the jail or prison as an
―imminent danger to the health,
safety or security‖ of the inmates, staff or public.
The
Commission also has the power
to close any jail or prison it
deems unsafe, unsanitary, or
non-compliant with the established minimum standards. The
Commission may also issue subpoenas and ―examine persons
under oath‖ if the head of any
facility refuses to grant the
members access to the facility
when requested.196 The Commission conducts yearly ―Minimum Standard Evaluations‖ of
county jails, which entail prior
notice to the jails on the areas
under inspection.197

[Vol. 30:5

Medical Review Board. Established by the Legislature in
1972, the Board investigates
deaths and serious incidents in
all correctional facilities and
makes recommendations to improve medical and health care
for inmates. The Board also responds to health care grievances.
Its members meet quarterly.198
Citizen’s Policy and Complaint
Review Council.
This sevenperson Council, whose members
are appointed by the Governor
with Senate approval, reviews
inmate grievances that have not
been successfully resolved at the
facility level. Its mandate includes improving conditions in
local correctional facilities, overseeing the complaints process,
and advising the Commission.
The Council meets once a month
and was established to increase
public participation in correctional oversight.199

Falling under the Commission‘s
auspices are two separate Councils with their own membership,
the Medical Review Board and
the Citizen‘s Policy and Complaint Review Council, both described below.

196. N.Y. CORRECT. LAW § 46(2)
(Consol. 2010).
197. E-mail from Ashoka Mukpo to Michele Deitch (Mar. 16,
2007).

198. N.Y. State Comm‘n on
Corr., Med. Review Bd. and Citizen‘s Policy and Complaint Review
Council, http://www.scoc.state.ny.us/
mrbcpcrc.htm (last visited Apr. 6,
2010).
199. Id.

125

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1879

New York State
Commission on Quality
of Care and Advocacy
for Persons with
Disabilities
401 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305-2397
(518) 388-1281
(800) 624-4143
www.cqcapd.state.ny.us

The New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons is an
independent state agency. It
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in prisons and jails in New
York. As part of the nation‘s
protection and advocacy network, it has a right of access to
all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

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[Vol. 30:5

NORTH
CAROLINA

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in North Carolina.
All oversight is conducted internally, legislatively through laws
and budget, or through litiga-

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Golden Key

Single Issue

Access

Restricted

x

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

North Carolina
Department of
Health and
Human Services,
Division of
Health Service
Regulation, Jails
and Detention
Section

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

tion.200 The state does have
monitoring responsibility for local jails, however, through the
200. Telephone Interview by
Emily Sitton with Erica Greenberg,
Attorney, N.C. Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., City of Raleigh, North
Carolina (Mar. 23, 2006).

127

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Department of Health and Human Services.
North Carolina‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is Disability Rights North Carolina.

North Carolina
Department of Health
and Human Services,
Division of Health
Service Regulation,
Jails and Detention
Section
2710 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2710
(919) 855-3856
http://facilityservices.state.nc.us/jail/index.html

The Jail and Detention section
―ensures compliance with North
Carolina statutes and administrative rules through semiannual inspections of all county,
municipal, and regional jails
throughout North Carolina. Also, the section provides technical
assistance to local government
and reviews plans for all major
renovation and new jail construction projects.‖201 The sec-

201. N.C. Dep‘t of Health and
Human Servs., Div. of Health Serv.
Regulation, Jails and Detention Section,
http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dhsr/jai
l/ index.html (last visited Apr. 6,

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1881

tion develops minimum operational standards, makes recommendations, and files reports
with appropriate officials.202
The statute does not appear to
provide for any enforcement authority.

Disability Rights North
Carolina
2626 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 550
Raleigh, NC 27608
(919) 856-2195
(877) 235-4210
http://www.disabilityrightsnc.org

Disability Rights North Carolina
is a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in North Carolina. As part
of the nation‘s protection and
advocacy network, it has a right
of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

2010).
202. N.C. GEN. STAT. § 153A220 (2009).

128

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

NORTH DAKOTA

Office of the
State Auditor

x

x

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in North Dakota,
beyond the general governmental auditing agency, which conducts
performance
and
operational reviews of various
state agencies. The Office of the
State Auditor‘s last significant
review of the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation
was in 2004, with follow-up work
completed in 2008, so reviews
are fairly infrequent, and for the

x
x

x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Single Jail

Routine

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Department of
Corrections and
Rehabilitation,
Training and
County Facilities

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

most part, these reviews are focused on issues of efficiency and
cost-effectiveness rather than
conditions and the treatment of
prisoners.
County jail oversight is provided
by the Department of Corrections (DOCR).203
203. Telephone Interview by
Emily Sitton with Tim Schuetzle,
then-Director, N.D. Dep‘t of Corr.
(Mar. 23, 2006).

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50-STATE INVENTORY

North Dakota‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is the
North Dakota Protection and
Advocacy Project.

Department of
Corrections and
Rehabilitation, Training
and County Facilities
3100 Railroad Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501
(701) 328-6390
http://www.nd.gov/docr/county/in
spections.html

By statute, DOCR must establish operational and inmate care
standards for local jails. The
agency must also appoint an inspector to inspect each facility
annually for compliance. DOCR
has the authority to close local
facilities that are repeatedly out
of compliance.204

1883

North Dakota
Protection and
Advocacy Project
400 East Broadway, Suite 409
Bismarck, ND 58501-4071
(701) 328-2950
http://www.ndpanda.org/index.ht
ml

The North Dakota Protection
and Advocacy Project is an independent state agency. It advocates for and protects the rights
of people with disabilities and
mental illness, including those
in the prison system in North
Dakota. As part of the nation‘s
protection and advocacy network, it has a right of access to
all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

Office of the State
Auditor
600 East Boulevard
Bismarck, ND 58505-0060
(701) 328-2241
http://www.state.nd.us/auditor/

The Office of the State Auditor
completes performance and operational audits of various state
organizations, including the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR).205

204. N.D. Cent. Code § 12-44.124, -25 (2009).

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

205. State of N.D. Office of the
State
Auditor,
http://www.state.nd.us/auditor/abou
t.htm (last visited Apr. 6, 2010).

130

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

A performance audit of the
DOCR was completed in 2004,
with a follow-up report issued in
2008. The report focused on issues such as overcrowding, medical services, the female facility,
and treatment services.206
According to the report, the audit had two main goals: ―Is management and the administrative
structure of the DOCR effective?‖ and ―Is the current placement
of
adult
offenders
providing for the most efficient
and
effective
use
of
resources?‖207
An operational audit of DOCR
was conducted in 2007, but this
audit focused almost exclusively
on financial control issues.208

206. STATE OF N.D. OFFICE OF
THE STATE AUDITOR, PERFORMANCE
AUDIT REPORT OF THE DEP‘T OF CORR.
AND REHAB., REPORT NO. 3022 (Nov.

24,
2004),
http://www.state.nd.us/auditor/repor
ts/3022_04.pdf.
207. Id.
208. STATE OF N.D. OFFICE OF
THE STATE AUDITOR, DEP‘T OF CORR.
AND REHAB., AUDIT REPORT FOR THE
BIENNIUM ENDED JUNE 30, 2007,
CLIENT CODE 530. REPORT NO. 3022
(Feb.
15,
2008),
http://www.nd.gov/auditor/reports/5
30_07.pdf.

131

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1885

OHIO

x

Inspectors

x

x

x

Professional

x

Restricted

x

Golden Key

x

Single Issue

x

Limited

x

If Needed

x

Lay

General Corrections

General Government

Access

x

Relative to other states, Ohio
provides significant external
oversight of its prisons. The
state is home to the Correctional
Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC), a legislativelycreated oversight mechanism established in 1977. Based in the
legislature, the CIIC is an unusual and important model of
external prison oversight.
It
performs extensive monitoring of
prisons and juvenile facilities in
Ohio, and publicly reports the
findings of its inspections. For

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Issues Covered

Routine

Department of
Corrections and
Rehabilitation,
Bureau of Adult
Detention

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Correctional
Institution
Inspection
Committee

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

instance, a 2009 inspection of a
particular prison facility yielded
a ninety-nine page report, which
covered virtually every aspect of
prisoner life at the facility, including meals, health care, assaults, sanitation, idleness, and
programs, among other topics,
and based its findings in part on
prisoner interviews, surveys,
and observations.209

209. Corr.

Insts.

Inspection

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50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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Ohio also has a court-appointed
monitor, Fred Cohen, who monitors prison medical and dental
services. Originally, Cohen was
appointed to monitor and report
on the status of mental health
care in the Ohio Prison system
following the decision in Dunn v.
Voinovich.210 In 2000, he completed five years as a courtappointed monitor.211 More recently, however, Cohen was appointed as a court monitor for
prison medical and dental services in the case of Fussell v.
Wilkinson (2005).212
Local jails are inspected by the
Ohio Department of Correction
and Rehabilitation‘s Bureau of
Adult Detention.
Ohio‘s designated protection and
advocacy organization for persons with mental illness or disabilities is the Ohio Legal Rights
Service.

Comm., Report:
Inspection and
Evaluation of the Lorain Correctional Institution (Oct. 8, 2009),
http://www.ciic.state.oh.us/reports/lc
i1009.pdf.
210. Dunn v. Voinovich, No. Cl-930166 (S.D. Ohio 1995).
211. PBS Frontline, The New
Asylums, Interviews: Fred Cohen,
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/front
line/shows/asylums/interviews/cohe
n.html (last visited Apr. 6, 2010).
212. Ohio Justice and Policy
Ctr., Fussell Settlement (Mar. 10,
2005),
http://www.ohiojpc.org/text/litigatio
n/fussellsettlement.pdf.

[Vol. 30:5

Correctional Institution
Inspection Committee
(CIIC)
77 South High Street,
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-6649
http://www.ciic.state.oh.us/

The CIIC was originally established through the enactments of
Sections 103.71 to 103.74 of the
Ohio Revised Code in 1977. A
lack of funding resulted in the
office‘s closure in 2001, but funding was restored and the office
re-opened in 2003.213 It is a
Committee of the Ohio legislature with four members of the
Ohio Senate and four members
of the House, appointed by the
President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, and it has a full-time
professional staff.214 Both political
parties
are
equally
represented among the Committee members.215 According to its
statutory charge, the CIIC is responsible for: establishing and
maintaining a continuing program of inspection of each state
correctional institution (for both
adults and juveniles); inspecting
each institution each biennium

213. See generally Shirley Pope,
The Work of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee: Reflections and Analysis (Apr. 20, 2006),
http://www.ciic.state.oh.us/reports/r
anda3-16-06.pdf.
214. OHIO REV. CODE ANN. §
103.71 (LexisNexis 2010).
215. Id.

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50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

without being required to give
advance notice of or make arrangements before an inspection; evaluating and assisting in
the development of programs to
improve the condition and operation of correctional institutions;
conducting evaluations of the
inmate grievance procedure at
each institution; and reporting
its findings to the General Assembly.216 The CIIC monitors
both public and private institutions.
Additionally, the CIIC
has the authority to monitor local jails as well, but limited resources have made this a low
priority for the committee, and
jail inspections are rarely conducted.217
The committee informs both the
legislature and the public of
what is transpiring within the
state‘s prison system. The inspections include on-site visits,
and the staff investigates nearly
every aspect of Ohio prisons.
They also have access to data on
discipline
issues,
education/
vocational program attendance,
medical issues, and grievances,
as well as data on inmate assaults, which they analyze to
identify trends. The staff also
welcomes communication directly from inmates. This communication is documented and made
available to the public through

216. Id. § 103.73.
217. Pope, supra note 209, at
14-15.

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1887

hearings that the committee
conducts and the reports it issues. In these hearings, the
Committee takes public testimony as well.218

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Bureau of Adult
Detention
1030 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 752-1066
http://www.drc.state.oh.us/web/b
ad.htm

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction‘s Bureau
of
Adult
Detention
monitors local jails in Ohio for
compliance with the agency‘s
―Minimum Standards for Jails in
Ohio.‖ The Bureau also provides
technical assistance to jails.
Staff conduct on-site, scheduled
inspections, with full access to
facilities and records, to determine whether or not a jail
should be certified. Since 2005,
the Bureau‘s annual inspections
have emphasized ―quality of life‖
evaluations for each jail being
inspected,
and
also
have
stressed the provision of re-entry
services.219

218. See generally Pope, supra
note 209, at 14-15.
219. BEIGHTLER ET AL., OHIO
JAIL ADMINISTRATOR‘S HANDBOOK 92
(2d
ed.
2008),
available
at
http://www.drc.state.oh.us/web/Jail

134

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[Vol. 30:5

Ohio Legal Rights
Service
50 West Broad Street, Suite 1400
Columbus, OH 43215-5923
(614) 466-7264
http://olrs.ohio.gov/ASP/HomePa
ge.asp

The Ohio Legal Rights Service is
a non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Ohio. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.
One of the organization‘s priorities is representing persons with
disabilities who complain of discrimination or lack of accommodations
in
correctional
facilities.220

AdministratorHandbook.pdf.
220. OHIO LEGAL RIGHTS SERV.,
AGENCY PRIORITIES: PROGRAMMATIC
PRIORITIES FOR FEDERAL FISCAL
YEAR (FFY) 2010, available at
http://olrs.ohio.gov/ASP/agencypriori
ties.asp.

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1889

OKLAHOMA

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms
in
Oklahoma.
However, the Department of
Corrections is responsible for
monitoring all private prison facilities in Oklahoma, as well as
any county jail with which it
contracts for bed space. The
primary focus of these inspections is on contract monitoring,
and the unit is also responsible
for procuring and developing
these contracts. Because the focus is monitoring implementa-

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Oklahoma
State
Department of
Health, Jail
Inspection
Division

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

tion of its own contracts, we
have decided not to include this
as an independent oversight
body in the chart above.
Local jails in Oklahoma are monitored by a division of the Oklahoma State Department of
Health.
Oklahoma‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is the Oklahoma
Disability Law Center, Inc.

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PACE LAW REVIEW

Oklahoma Disability
Law Center, Inc.
2915 Classen Blvd.
300 Cameron Building
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 525-7755
http://home.flash.net/~odlcokc/in
dextxt.html

The Oklahoma Disability Law
Center, Inc. is a federally funded
non-profit advocacy organization. It advocates for and protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,
including those in prisons and
jails in Oklahoma. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

[Vol. 30:5

three jail inspectors to make
quarterly unannounced inspections to all county and city jails
in Oklahoma. If a violation of
standards is found, the noncompliant facility has ten days to reply to a citation, and sixty days
to return to compliance. If a facility is noncompliant after this
period, the health commissioner
can request that the Attorney
General order the facility to
close. This policy has resulted in
the construction of new facilities
to replace aged structures.222

Oklahoma State
Department of Health,
Jail Inspection Division
1000 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
(405) 271-5600
http://www.ok.gov/health/Protect
ive_Health/Jail_Inspection_Divis
ion/

The Oklahoma Department of
Health is responsible for creating jail standards and inspecting
jails to make sure that they live
up to those standards.221 The
Jail Inspection Division employs
221. OKLA.
310:670 (2008).

ADMIN.

CODE

§

222. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Okla. State
Dep‘t of Health, Office of Jail Inspections (Mar. 22, 2007).

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1891

OREGON

Multnomah
County
Corrections
Grand Jury

x

223. Telephone Interview by
Emily Sitton with Perrin P. Damon,
Communications
Manager,
Or.
Dep‘t of Corr. (Mar. 17, 2006).

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

x

Restricted

x

Golden Key

x

Access

Single Issue

x

Limited

General Corrections

General Government

x

If Needed

x

We have not identified any formal prison oversight mechanisms in Oregon. There are no
boards or inspectors external to
the Department of Corrections,
according to agency staff.223

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Issues Covered

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Oregon
Department of
Corrections—
Community
Corrections

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x
x

x

However, county jails are subject
to oversight from the Oregon
Department
of
Corrections,
which is statutorily authorized
to inspect and report on local jail
conditions.
Also, in the only example of this
form of local jail oversight that
we have found anywhere in the
country, the Multnomah County
(Portland) District Attorney convenes a grand jury each year to

138

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PACE LAW REVIEW

examine jail conditions in that
county.224
Oregon‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Disability Rights
Oregon.

Disability Rights
Oregon
620 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204-1420
(503) 243-2081
http://www.disabilityrightsorego
n.org/

Disability Rights Oregon is a
non-profit advocacy organization
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons and jails in
Oregon. As part of the nation‘s
protection and advocacy network, it has a right of access to
all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

224. E-mail from John Connors, Director, Metro. Pub. Defender, to Emily Sitton (Mar. 23, 2006).

[Vol. 30:5

Oregon Department of
Corrections—
Community Corrections
2575 Center Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4667
(503) 945-9050
http://www.oregon.gov/DOC/TRA
NS/CC/jails.shtml

The Oregon Department of Corrections‘ Community Corrections
Division is statutorily charged,
among other things, with oversight of the jails in the state to
ensure they are in compliance
with applicable standards.225 If
a jail is not in compliance,
Community Corrections is required to report this noncompliance in writing to the
proper local authorities.226

225. Or. Dep‘t of Corr., DOC
Cmty. Corr. Div., Jail Inspections,
available
at
http://www.oregon.gov/DOC/TRANS
/CC
/ jails.shtml. (last visited Apr. 6,
2010).
226. OR. REV. STAT. § 169.080
(2007).

139

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1893

Multnomah County
Corrections Grand Jury
Michael D. Schrunk, District Attorney
1021 S.W. Fourth Avenue, Room
600
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 988-3162
http://www.co.multnomah.or.us/d
a/index.php

Every year, the Multnomah
County District Attorney has
one of his senior deputies convene a special grand jury. The
grand jury examines conditions
in the county‘s jail facilities. It
examines conditions through
testimony from well over 100
witnesses, including judges, defense lawyers, and jail staff. The
process lasts about two months
and results in the publication of
a detailed report of its findings
at the end of the process. Recently, the grand jury has focused
on
concerns
about
classification, the treatment of
the mentally ill, work release
programs, and staffing issues.227

227. 2008 CORRECTIONS GRAND
JURY
REPORT,
available
at
http://www.co.multnomah.or.us/da/a
rticles/corrgj2008.pdf.

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

Pennsylvania
Prison Society

x

x x

x

Inspectors

Professional

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

The state of Pennsylvania has
some interesting and wellestablished prison and jail oversight mechanisms. The Pennsylvania Prison Society is one of
only a handful of advocacy
groups in the nation with formal
oversight responsibilities for the
states‘ prisons and jails.
As for jail oversight, each county
classed as ―level 2‖ is statutorily
mandated to establish prison
boards that monitor conditions

x

Single Issue

x

Limited

x

If Needed

x

Lay

Access

Restricted

General Corrections

General Government

Issues Covered

Routine

Pennsylvania
Department of
Corrections,
Office of County
Inspection &
Services

x

Monitoring

Preventative

County Prison
Boards

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

PENNSYLVANIA

x
x

x

in county prisons (local jails are
referred to as ―county prisons‖ in
Pennsylvania). Further, the Office of County Inspection & Services within the Pennsylvania
Department of Corrections inspects all county prisons and
handles complaints about these
facilities.
Pennsylvania‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is Disabili-

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50-STATE INVENTORY

ty Rights Network of Pennsylvania.

County Prison Boards
Various counties in Pennsylvania have county prison boards,
including Bucks County and Allegheny County:

Prison Oversight Board
for Bucks County
Commissioner Sandra Miller
County of Bucks, Office of
Commissioners
55 East Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-6425
www.buckscounty.org

Allegheny County Jail
Oversight Board

1895

statute, a board must consist of
the county chief executive, two
judges, sheriff, controller, city
council member, and three citizen members.229
The board
must make semiannual unannounced inspections of the local
prisons to ensure that they are
in compliance with county and
state regulations. Board members have access to prisoners as
well as corrections staff during
these visits. The board must
then file a publicly available report. It also has the authority to
investigate issues separate from
its inspections.230
In ―homerule‖ counties, the boards are
organized such that they are
under prison wardens, rather
than their supervisors.231

Allegheny County Jail
950 Second Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 350-2100
http://www.county.allegheny.p
a.us/boards/index.asp?Board=
167

County Prison Boards are responsible for hiring and supervising prison wardens and
determining staffing levels. In
their supervisory role, they have
access to the local prisons to review operations and management, and the safekeeping of
inmates.228
By Pennsylvania

228. Interview by William Vetter with Brinda Penyak, County

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Comm‘rs Ass‘n (July 17, 2006).
229. 1999 Pa. Laws 36. See also Bucks County Prison Oversight
Board Conducts Annual Organization Meeting (Jan. 8, 2009), available
at
http://www.buckscounty.org/news/20
09/2009-01-08PrisonOversightBoard.aspx (last visited Nov. 21, 2009).
230. Id.
231. Interview by William Vetter with Warden Craig Lowe, Pike
County Corr. Facility, Pa. (July 26,
2006).

142

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Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Office of County
Inspection & Services
2520 Lisburn Road
P.O. Box 598
Camp Hill, PA 17001-0598
(717) 975-4859
http://www.cor.state.pa.us/portal/
site/default.asp

statute,232

By
the Pennsylvania
Department of Corrections‘ Office of County Inspection & Services conducts inspections and
follow-up inspections of all county prisons to monitor compliance
with Pennsylvania statutes,
DOC regulations, and ACA
standards. The inspections include a review of appropriate
records, documents, and logs; an
evaluation of policies and procedures at the facility; interviews
with inmates, staff, and administrators to identify concerns;
and a physical tour to assess
conditions. The Office also handles complaints associated with
county prison operations.233
Inspectors submit a report to
each jail regarding their findings
and their assessment of the facility‘s compliance with stan-

232. 37 PA. CODE § 95.220(b)(1)
(2010).
233. Pa.
Dep‘t
of
Corr.,
http://www.cor.state.pa.us/portal/ser
ver.pt/community/department_of_co
rrections/4604 (last visited Jan. 28,
2010).

[Vol. 30:5

dards. Follow-up inspections are
conducted to see if corrective action has been taken, but the
agency does not have enforcement authority. The Office also
provides technical assistance to
county prison officials.234

Pennsylvania Prison
Society
245 North Broad Street, Suite
300
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 564-6005
www.prisonsociety.org

The Pennsylvania Prison Society
is a 218-year-old independent
organization, funded both publicly and privately to monitor
corrections facilities in Pennsylvania. The organization is made
up of over 1,000 members across
the state, totaling 43 chapters.
Membership in the society can
be obtained by paying membership dues, and is not limited to a
particular group of people.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society, by Act of the Pennsylvania
General Assembly, can access
the prison facilities. Through
the organization‘s ―Official Visitor‖ program, member volunteers (designated as official
visitors) are allowed to visit the
facilities and inmates to observe
and report any abuse or misconduct and to assist the prisoners

234. Id.

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1897

with a variety of issues.235 More
than 450 volunteers make
roughly 5,000 visits to state and
county prisons throughout the
state each year.236 Official visitors usually visit in response to
a prisoner complaint. The actual number of site visits is determined by each chapter of the
PPS.237 The organization has
been providing these official visits to prisoners since 1787.

is to reduce the prison population, and to evaluate the impact
of mandatory sentencing.

While the primary function of
the organization is to promote
the development of policies that
will improve prison conditions
and programs available to inmates, the organization‘s mission is broader than many other
prisoners‘ rights groups. PPS
helps prisoners and their families with visitation, services and
intervention. Other goals of the
society are to advocate for progressive criminal justice legislation, to reduce the use of
incarceration as punishment, to
educate the public to further
promote correctional reform, and
to encourage corrections professionals to remain informed
about innovations in the field.
The organization‘s current focus

Disability Rights Network of
Pennsylvania is a non-profit advocacy organization that advocates for and protects the rights
of people with disabilities and
mental illness, including those
in state and local prisons in
Pennsylvania. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
1414 North Cameron Street,
Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17103
(717) 236-8110
http://drnpa.org/

235. Pennsylvania Prison Society,
http://www.prisonsociety.org/adv/ov.
shtml (last visited Nov. 21, 2009).
236. Id.
237. Interview by William Vetter with Catherine Wise, Pa. Prison
Soc‘y Dir. of Commc‘ns and Dev.,
(July 17, 2006).

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1898

PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

RHODE ISLAND

We have not identified any formal external jail or prison oversight mechanisms in Rhode
Island.238 Rhode Island has a
unified corrections system in
which both prisons and jails are
managed at the state level by a
single agency. There is a legislative board that meets only
when the inmate population
reaches a certain level; its focus

238. Telephone interview by
Emily Sitton with A.T. Wall, Director, Rhode Island Dep‘t of Corr.
(Mar. 20, 2006).

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Access

Golden Key

Limited

Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

is overcrowding and where to
move the inmates, rather than
on prison conditions and the
treatment of prisoners.239
Rhode Island‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is the
Rhode Island Disability Law
Center.

239. Id.

145

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1899

Rhode Island Disability
Law Center
275 Westminster Street, Suite 401
Providence, RI 02903-3434
(401) 831-3150
http://www.ridlc.org/

The Rhode Island Disability Law
Center is a non-profit law office
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in prisons and jails in
Rhode Island. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

SOUTH
CAROLINA

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in South Carolina.
A legislative task force was
created to look at prison conditions in 2002-03, but there has

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Department of
Corrections,
Division of
Inspections and
Operational
Review

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

been no regular form of prison
oversight since then.240
However, jail oversight is provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections, which

240. Telephone interview by
William Vetter with Rep. Eva
Brumfeld (Aug. 11, 2006).

147

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50-STATE INVENTORY

is charged by statute with monitoring conditions in local jails. 241
Furthermore, the state‘s jail
standards require each local jail
facility to arrange for an annual
visit by county officials so they
can examine the jail‘s condition,
the treatment of inmates, and
available programs.242
South Carolina‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is Protection Advocacy for People with
Disabilities, Inc.

Department of Corrections, Division of Inspections and
Operational Review
P. O. Box 21787
4444 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 896-8502
http://www.doc.sc.gov/

The Inspections and Operational
Review Division of the Department of Corrections is statutorily authorized to inspect local
241. The Department monitors
its own state prisons as well, though
we do not consider this a form of external prison oversight for purposes
of this report.
242. Minimum Standards for
Local Detention Facilities in South
Carolina
(2006),
available
at
http://www.sccounties.org/client_res
ources/
publications/JailStandards06.pdf.

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1901

jails to ensure compliance with
minimum standards set by
South Carolina Association of
Counties and relating to safety,
health, and sanitation conditions.243 Inspectors must visit
each facility once per year. Inspectors include representatives
from the Department of Health
and Environmental Control and
the state fire marshal. The resulting reports are given to the
governing authority of the facility, the Director of the Department
of
Corrections,
and
relevant local authorities. Noncompliant facilities must develop
a plan within ninety days to address the shortcomings listed in
the report. The Corrections director may close any facility that
does not develop a corrective
plan within ninety days.244

Protection Advocacy for
People with Disabilities,
Inc.
3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 208
Columbia, SC 29204
(803) 782-0639
http://www.pandasc.org/

Protection Advocacy for People
with Disabilities, Inc. is a private non-profit advocacy organization that advocates for and
protects the rights of people with
disabilities and mental illness,

243. S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 24-9-10
through -50.
244. Id.

148

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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[Vol. 30:5

including those in state prisons
and local jails in South Carolina.
As part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed.

149

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1903

We have not identified any formal external prison or jail oversight mechanisms in South
Dakota.
South Dakota‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is South
Dakota Advocacy Services.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota Advocacy
Services
221 South Central Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 224-8294
http://www.sdadvocacy.com

South Dakota Advocacy Services
is a private non-profit advocacy
organization that advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state
prisons and local jails in South
Dakota. As part of the nation‘s

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[Vol. 30:5

protection and advocacy network, it has a right of access to
all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

151

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1905

TENNESSEE

We identified no external prison
oversight mechanisms in Tennessee except for a legislative
Select Oversight Committee on
Corrections245 that primarily reviews capital expenditures on
prison construction projects and
various prison programs, but

245. Tennessee General Assembly, Joint Committee Corrections
Oversight,
http://www.capitol.tn.gov/joint/com
mittees/corrections.html (last visited
Nov. 21, 2009).

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Tennessee
Corrections
Institute

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x

that does not appear to have inspection responsibilities.246

246. A description of this select
committee‘s work can be found in a
2002 report prepared by the state
comptroller.
TENNESSEE
COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY,
DIVISION OF STATE AUDIT, REPORT ON
THE SELECT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
ON CORRECTIONS (Jan. 2002), available
at
http://www.comptroller1.state.tn.us/
repository/SA/pa02016.pdf.

152

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Jail oversight is provided by the
Tennessee Corrections Institute,
a state agency.
Tennessee‘s designated protection and advocacy organization
for persons with mental illness
or disabilities is Disability Law
& Advocacy Center of Tennessee.

Tennessee Corrections
Institute
8th Floor, Andrew Jackson Bldg.
500 Deaderick St.
Nashville, TN 37242-0001
(615) 741-3816
[no website]

The Tennessee Corrections Institute is an independent state
agency with oversight responsibility for local jails. By statute,
―the Tennessee Corrections Institute is required to establish
minimum standards for local
jails, lock-ups, workhouses and
detention facilities in the state,
and conduct an annual inspection of each facility.‖247 The institute must visit each facility
annually, and publish the results of inspections. The Institute has the authority to
decertify non-compliant facilities.248

[Vol. 30:5

Disability Law &
Advocacy Center of
Tennessee
2416 21st Avenue South,
Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 298-1080
http://www.dlactn.org/

Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee is a private
non-profit advocacy organization
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state prisons and
local jails in Tennessee. As part
of the nation‘s protection and
advocacy network, it has a right
of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

247. Rules of the Tennessee
Corrections Institute: Correctional
Facilities
Inspection,
http://state.tn.us/sos/rules/1400/140
0-01.pdf
248. 03 Op. Tenn. Att‘y Gen.
101 (Aug. 19, 2003).

153

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1907

TEXAS

PREA
Ombudsman,
TDCJ
Texas
Commission
on Jail
Standards

x

x
x

x

x

Texas does not have an external
inspection or monitoring body
for its prisons. Jail oversight is
provided by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, an independent regulatory body that
establishes minimum standards
for municipal and county jail facilities and that routinely inspects local jail facilities to
determine compliance with the
standards.

x

x x

x

x

x

Lay

Professional

Restricted

Inspectors

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has an Office of the Inspector General
(OIG) that investigates criminal
activity by inmates and staff, including allegations of excessive
or unnecessary use of force, serious staff misconduct, and harassment and retaliation against
inmates for use of the legal system.249 Although the OIG is not

249. Texas

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Golden Key

Limited

x

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Department

of

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50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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a separate agency, it has a
measure of independence in that
it reports directly to the Texas
Board of Criminal Justice, the
agency‘s governing board, rather
than to the director of the agency. There is also an independent
office called the Special Prosecution Unit that serves as the District Attorney for TDCJ, proseprosecuting crimes committed
within the prison by staff or inmates.250 Both these entities are
worth highlighting for their contributions to the safety of the
prison facilities, but neither constitutes an inspection or monitoring body and neither is
focused on prison conditions.
A new position was created by
the legislature in 2007 that does
provide some oversight with regard to sexual assault issues in
prison.251 In the wake of the
Prison Rape Elimination Act
(PREA), Texas appointed an
Ombudsman for Sexual Assault
for TDCJ. The office—called the
PREA
Ombudsman—became
operational in 2009, and has a
staff of three. The PREA Om-

Criminal Justice, Office of the Inspector
General,
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/inspector
.general/inspector.gnl-home.htm
(last visited Nov. 22, 2009).
250. Telephone Interview by
William Vetter with Gina DeBottis,
Special Prosecution Unit (July 19,
2006).
251. TEXAS CODE ANN. §§
501.172-176 (2007).

[Vol. 30:5

budsman will report yearly to
the Governor and will make
quarterly reports to the Board of
Criminal Justice regarding the
office‘s activities and statistics
about the incidence of sexual assault in Texas prisons. The office is still in the process of dedetermining its role with regard
to monitoring and investigation
of sexual assault concerns. The
Ombudsman has been placed
within the Office of the Inspector
General, for purposes of organizational structure.252
Similarly, important changes to
prison operations are brought
about by the work of the Texas
Sunset Advisory Commission, a
twelve-member appointed group
of legislators and public members, which conducts performance audits on every state
agency every several years to determine whether the agency
should be reauthorized by the
legislature.253
Every seven
years, the Commission conducts
a major review of TDCJ and
looks for areas where change
would be most beneficial, especially when it comes to costeffectiveness and outcomes. The

252. Telephone Interview by
Michele Deitch with Ralph Bales,
TDCJ Ombudsman for Sexual Assault (Sept. 30, 2009).
253. Texas Sunset Advisory
Commission, Guide to the Sunset
Process,
December
2009,
http://www.sunset.state.tx.us (last
visited Nov. 23, 2009).

155

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Commission then files a report
to the Legislature with recommendations for changes, and
drafts a bill to address these
changes that is filed in the next
legislative session. The Sunset
Commission is not considered to
be an oversight body and does
not conduct prison inspections,
but does have the opportunity to
draw attention periodically to
areas of concern about prison
operations.
Texas also has a Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee.
The committee holds
rare but periodic hearings on
matters of particular concern
with regard to TDCJ. However,
its focus appears to be oriented
to management issues, such as
security, cost, and population
pressures, rather than on conditions issues, and the committee
does not have an inspection role.
Texas‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Advocacy, Inc.

Advocacy, Inc.
7800 Shoal Creek Boulevard,
Suite 171-E
Austin, TX 78757-1024
(512) 454-4816
www.advocacyinc.org

Advocacy, Inc. is a private nonprofit advocacy organization that
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

1909

those in state prisons and local
jails in Texas. As part of the nation‘s protection and advocacy
network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.
Advocacy‘s services include monitoring and commenting on state
agency policies, regulations, and
legislative activities, including
those related to corrections matters. Staff regularly visit juvenile justice facilities, and in 2005
the staff successfully sued to enforce their right of access to the
Harris County (Houston) Jail to
examine the jail‘s mental health
units.254

PREA Ombudsman,
TDCJ
Office of the Inspector General
P.O. Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099
(936) 437-2133
http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/inspec
tor.general/inspector.gnlhome.htm
prea.ombudsman@tdcj.tx.us

The Ombudsman for Sexual Assault in TDCJ is a new position
created by the legislature in
2007, and was not staffed until
2009. According to the authorizing statute, the Ombudsman is
required to monitor department

254. Advocacy, Inc., 2006 Annual
Report,
at
14,
http://www.advocacyinc.org/annual_
reports/2006-annual.pdf.

156

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policies with regard to sexual
assault; oversee investigation
and ensure resolution of sexual
assault complaints; collect statistics about sexual assault allegations; and report both publicly
and to designated officials about
sexual assault allegations and
the result of investigations and
disciplinary actions.255 The office is still in a state of development, and its specific strategies
for carrying out these responsibilities are still being determined.256 The office has three
staff members, and there are also ―safe prison coordinators‖
based at each prison facility with
whom the office collaborates.
The Ombudsman is based in the
Office of the Inspector General
(OIG) and is required to report
annually to the Governor and
quarterly to the Texas Board of
Criminal Justice (TBCJ), the governing board of the state‘s criminal justice agency.

255. TEXAS CODE ANN. §§
501.172-176 (2007).
256. Telephone Interview by
Michele Deitch with Ralph Bales,
TDCJ Ombudsman for Sexual Assault (Sept. 30, 2009).

[Vol. 30:5

Texas Commission on
Jail Standards
300 West 15th Street, Suite 503
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-5505
http://www.tcjs.state.tx.us/

The Texas Commission on Jail
Standards (TCJS) has nine
members who are appointed by
the Governor. Membership currently includes a sheriff, doctor,
county judge, and County Commissioner.
The Commission was created to
implement state policy that all
county jail facilities conform to
minimum standards of construction, maintenance and operation.
Since
then,
the
Commission has expanded to include many duties, such as providing
consultation
and
technical assistance to county
and municipal jails.
A regulatory body, the Texas
Commission on Jail Standards
promulgates written rules and
procedures that establish minimum standards, inspection procedures, enforcement policies,
and technical assistance for the
operation of jail facilities. Areas
of concern include construction
and maintenance of jail facilities, as well as care and treatment of inmates, and programs
of rehabilitation, education, and
recreation in jails. The Commission monitors and enforces standards
through
onsite
inspections, which must be con-

157

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1911

ducted for each facility at least
once per year. Inspections may
be unannounced, and staff have
access to any part of the facility.257 Its reports on individual
facilities are not available to the
public on its website. In the
event of a jail‘s non-compliance
with the minimum standards,
the Commission has various remedies available to it, including
the potential to order the transfer of inmates or to decertify the
facility.

257. 37 TEXAS ADMIN. CODE §
297.2 (2008).

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

UNITED STATES

Department of
Justice, Office of
the Federal
Detention
Trustee,
Detention
Standards and
Compliance
Division

x

Department of
Justice, Office of
the Inspector
General

x

x

x

x

x

Federal prisoners include convicted prisoners held by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and
pretrial detainees or transfer
prisoners held by the U.S. Marshals Service in contracted space
in local county jails and private
facilities. The Office of the In-

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

x

Access

Single Issue

x

Limited

Issues Covered
General Corrections

Routine

Preventative

Investigatory

Monitoring
General Government

x

Oversight
Function

If Needed

Department of
Homeland
Security, Office
of Inspector
General

Single Jail

Jails (Fed.)

Organization

Prisons (Fed.)

Facility

spector General in the U.S. Department of Justice provides
oversight of the Federal Bureau
of Prisons and its contracted facilities, while the U.S. Marshals
Service monitors its contracts
with jail facilities and private
vendors. Local jails and private

159

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50-STATE INVENTORY

correctional facilities can also be
investigated by the Department
of Homeland Security‘s Inspector General, to the extent these
facilities hold immigrant detainees, who fall under the purview
of this department, through
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Department of
Homeland Security,
Office of Inspector
General
245 Murray Drive, SW, Bldg. 410
Washington, DC 20538
(202) 254-4100
http://www.dhs.gov/xoig/index.sh
tm

The Department of Homeland
Security‘s Office of Inspector
General (DHS OIG) was created
by the Homeland Security Act of
2002. The Inspector General is
appointed by the President and
must be confirmed by the Senate. The DHS OIG conducts
investigations and audits to impose accountability within the
department and to uncover
fraud and waste.
While the
scope of the DHS OIG‘s authority is very broad, it can include
audits of correctional facilities
where immigrant detainees are
being held.
Based on a 2006 DHS OIG audit
of the Passaic County (New Jersey) Jail, the Department of
Homeland Security terminated
its contract to house immigrant

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1913

detainees in the facility. Allegations of substandard medical
care258 and inappropriate ―use of
attack dogs‖ to ensure inmate
compliance prompted the investigation. A final report was released in March 2006. A more
general report on conditions in
immigrant detention facilities
was issued in December 2006.
In 2008, the OIG published a report on detainee deaths in custody
and
medical
care.259
Among that report‘s major recommendations was that DHS‘s
Division of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) enhance its oversight of immigrant
detention facilities.260

258. Asjylyn Loder, Two Men
Say Passaic Jail Denied Them AIDS
Drugs, BERGEN RECORD (Aug. 24,
2005),
available
at
http://www.redorbit.com/news/healt
h/218886/2_men_say_passaic_jail_d
enied_them_aids_drugs/index.html.
259. Department of Homeland
Security, Office of the Inspector
General, ICE Policies Related to Detainee Deaths and the Oversight of
Immigration Detention Facilities,
OIG-08-52 (June 2008), available at
http://www.dhs.gov/xoig/assets/mgm
trpts/OIG_08-52_Jun08.pdf.
260. Id.

160

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Department of Justice,
Office of the Inspector
General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Suite 4706
Washington, DC 20530-0001
(202) 514-3435
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/

The Department of Justice‘s Office of the Inspector General
(DOJ OIG) functions as an independent and investigatory body
that handles complaints and ―allegations of fraud, waste, abuse,
and misconduct‖261 by Department of Justice (DOJ) employees, including the Federal
Bureau of Prisons and the U.S.
Marshals Service. The OIG reports directly to the U.S. Attorney General and to Congress.
Pursuant to Section 1001 of the
USA Patriot Act, the DOJ OIG is
mandated to investigate complaints alleging civil rights and
civil liberties violations by DOJ
employees. The OIG has established a section within its agency
to
address
these
262
complaints.
Although the Inspector General
does not routinely inspect prisons operated by the Federal Bu-

261. U.S. Dep‘t of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Report
Violations of Civil Rights or Civil
Liberties,
available
at
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/FOIA/hotli
ne2.htm.
262. Id.

[Vol. 30:5

reau of Prisons, the office has
access to these facilities in order
to conduct investigations of specific allegations. Additionally,
the Inspector General sometimes
issues thematic reports about a
particular corrections issue. In
2009, for example, the DOJ OIG
issued a report on the agency‘s
efforts to prevent sexual abuse of
federal prisoners by correctional
staff.263 Another 2009 report
concerned the agency‘s use of
less-lethal weapons, such as tasers, pepper spray, and batons. 264
Also, concerns about the detention and incarceration of federal
prisoners and detainees were
highlighted as one of the most
significant management and
performance challenges facing
the Department of Justice in an
annual report the DOJ OIG presented to the U.S. Attorney General in 2009.265

263. U.S. Dep‘t of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, The
Department of Justice‘s Efforts to
Prevent Staff Sexual Abuse of Federal Inmates, Report Number I2009-004 (Sept. 2009), available at
http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/pl
us/e0904.pdf.
264. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General,
Review of the Department of Justice‘s Use of Less-Lethal Weapons,
Report Number I-2009-003 (May
2009),
available
at
http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/pl
us/e0903/final.pdf.
265. Inspector General Glenn
Fine, Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department
of Justice 16-18 (Nov. 13, 2009),

161

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Department of Justice,
Office of the Federal
Detention Trustee,
Detention Standards
and Compliance
Division
4601 N. Fairfax Drive, 9th Floor
Arlington, VA 20530
(202) 353-4601
http://www.justice.gov/ofdt/stand
ards.htm

The Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT) in the U.S.
Department of Justice was established by Congress in 2001 to
provide oversight of, among other things, the detention of federal prisoners and aliens awaiting
removal from the United States.
The OFDT‘s Detention Standards and Compliance Division
(DSC) maintains a quality assurance program that monitors
all facilities housing detainees of
the United States Marshals Service (USMS).
Facilities inspected include state and local
correctional facilities that contract with the USMS under an
intergovernmental agreement,
as well as private facilities that
contract either with the USMS
or with ICE.266 However, DSC

http://www.justice.gov/oig/challenge
s/2009_challenges.pdf#4.
266. Office of the Federal Detention Trustee, Detention Standards and Compliance Division,
Quality Assurance Program. Online,
http://www.justice.gov/ofdt/qapbrochure.pdf (last visited Apr. 7,

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1915

only conducts reviews of those
state and local facilities that
hold more than 500 USMS detainees, which excludes a significant number of correctional
facilities housing federal detainees.
Facilities are reviewed annually
for compliance with Federal Performance-Based
Detention
Standards. These standards are
designed to ensure the safe, secure, and humane confinement
of federal detainees. In additional to more general requirements, these standards include a
number of core requirements
known as Key Functional Areas,
and failure to comply with any of
those core standards is considered a significant deficiency in
facility operations. Inspection
teams typically include subject
matter experts who are contracted consultants. Facilities
must develop and implement
corrective plans to address any
deficiencies, and continued failure to meet minimum standards
could result in a discontinuation
of the contract or financial penalties
for
the
facility. 267

2010).
267. Id.

162

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PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

UTAH

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in Utah. With regard to jail oversight, the Utah
Sheriffs‘ Association conducts
voluntary inspections of jails to
ensure compliance with the Sheriff‘s Jail Standards, but has no
enforcement authority.
Utah‘s designated protection and
advocacy organization for persons with mental illness or disabilities is the Disability Law
Center.

x

Lay

Professional

Inspectors

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Routine

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

x

Monitoring

Preventative

Utah Sheriffs’
Association

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

x x

Disability Law Center
205 North 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 363-1437
http://www.disabilitylawcenter.o
rg

The Disability Law Center is a
private non-profit advocacy organization that advocates for
and protects the rights of people
with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state
prisons and local jails in Utah.
As part of the nation‘s protection

163

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1917

and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed. One of the organization‘s stated priorities is ensuring
appropriate
accommodations, access to programming, and mental health
services in adult corrections facilities.268

Utah Sheriffs’
Association
P.O. Box 489
Santa Clara, UT 84765
http://www.utahsheriffs.org/

In response to litigation regarding local jail conditions, the
Utah Sheriffs‘ Association developed jail standards backed up by
annual inspections by the Association. Compliance with the
standards is voluntary, however,
and the Association has no sanctioning or certification authority.269

268. Disability Law Center,
Priority
Issues,
available
at
http://www.disabilitylawcenter.org/p
riorityissues.htm (last visited June
6, 2010).
269. U.S. Dep‘t of Justice, NIC
Information Center, Authority of
State-Level Jail Inspection Agencies
to Close County/Local Jails (Dec.
2003),
http://www.nicic.org/pubs/
2003/019303.pdf (last visited Nov.
25, 2009).

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164

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1918

PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

We have identified no formal external prison or jail oversight
mechanisms in Vermont. Vermont is one of six states with a
unified corrections system, in
which the state agency operates
both
pre-trial
and
postconviction facilities.
Vermont‘s designated protection
and advocacy agency for persons
with mental illness or disabilities is Disability Rights Vermont.

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

VERMONT

Disability Rights
Vermont
141 Main Street, Suite 7
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-1355
http://www.vtpa.org/

Disability Rights Vermont is a
private non-profit organization
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state prisons and
local jails in Vermont. As part of
the nation‘s protection and advocacy network, it has a right of
access to all correctional facili-

165

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1919

ties in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.

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1920

PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

VIRGINIA

We have not identified any formal external prison oversight
mechanisms in this state. However, ninety-six individual local
jail facilities in Virginia are subject to oversight by the state‘s
Board of Corrections, through
the state Department of Corrections (DOC).

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

x

Issues Covered
General Government

x

If Needed

Investigatory

Single Jail

Monitoring

Routine

x

Oversight
Function

Preventative

Virginia
Department of
Corrections,
Compliance and
Accreditation
Unit

Jails Statewide

Organization

Prisons Statewide

Facility

x

disabilities is the Virginia Office
for Protection and Advocacy.

Virginia‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for
persons with mental illness or

167

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

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50-STATE INVENTORY

Virginia Department of
Corrections,
Compliance and
Accreditation Unit
P.O. Box 26963
Richmond, VA 23261-6963
(804) 674-3000
http://www.vadoc.state.va.us/abo
ut/directory/compliance.shtm
http://www.vadoc.state.va.us/boa
rds/local.shtm

The Board of Corrections is responsible for jail oversight, and
it has charged the Compliance
and Accreditation Unit of the
Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) with conducting
these audits of local jail facilities. This unit inspects local detention facilities (as well as state
prisons and community corrections facilities) every year to ensure
compliance
with
the
Minimum Standards for Jails
and Lockups as set by statute,
and conducts more comprehensive audits every three years. 270
The Board of Corrections has the
power to certify and defund noncompliant facilities.271
In 1994, the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) conducted a

270. 6 VA ADMIN. CODE § 15-2040 (2006).
271. Virginia Regulatory Town
Hall,
http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/V
iewBoard.cfm?BoardID=50 (last visited Nov. 23, 2009).

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1921

review of the DOC‘s jail oversight process. The study reported that some of DOC‘s
processes for providing jail oversight were ineffective, and the
active involvement of the state
health department was necessary. The Code of Virginia was
revised by the 1995 General Assembly to accommodate many of
the recommendations of the report, including the authorization
of unannounced visits to jails by
the DOC.272

Virginia Office for
Protection and
Advocacy (VOPA)
1910 Byrd Avenue, Suite 5
Richmond, VA 23230
(804) 225-2042
http://www.vopa.state.va.us/inde
x.htm

The Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy is an independent state agency that
advocates for and protects the
rights of people with disabilities
and mental illness, including
those in state prisons and local
jails in Virginia. As part of the
nation‘s protection and advocacy

272. Joint Legislative Audit
and Review Commission, Review of
Jail Oversight and Reporting Activities, Virginia Legislative Information
System
(1996),
http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.n
sf/4d54200d7e28716385256ec1004f3
130/c652408e645954368525628a005
57d39?OpenDocument (last visited
Nov. 23, 2009).

168

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[Vol. 30:5

network, it has a right of access
to all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.
One of the agency‘s priority issues for the 2010 fiscal year is
ensuring timely and appropriate
mental health
services in
jails.273

273. Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy, FY 2010 Goals,
Focus Areas, and Objectives (Oct. 1,
2009), http://www.vopa.state.va.us/
Programs%20and%20Goals/2010%20G
FOs.htm.

169

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1923

WASHINGTON

We have identified no formal external prison or jail oversight
mechanisms
in
Washington
State. However, it is worth highlighting the work of an independent state agency, the
Washington State Institute for
Public Policy (WSIPP). It provides research on particular issues ―at legislative direction,‖
including issues related to the
criminal justice system. If required for a project, it could have
access to correctional facilities.
The organization‘s reports are
publicly available and posted online. Most of its research, however, concerns effectiveness of

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Limited

Access

Single Issue

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

programs or policies, rather than
institutional conditions. 274
Washington also does not have
state oversight of local jails.
However, many localities enter
into ―interlocal jail agreements‖
with other localities, given that
one locality may house offenders
from another. These agreements

274. Washington State Institute
for
Public
Policy
http://www.wsipp.wa.gov (last visited Nov. 23, 2009).

170

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[Vol. 30:5

lay out basic standards for incarceration.275

Disability Rights
Washington

Certain legislators and advocates appear interested in developing an oversight body for the
state. In 2007, a bill276 was filed
that would create a Corrections
Ombudsman for the state, to be
located within the Office of the
Governor. Another bill277 proposed the creation of a legislative
corrections
oversight
committee that would, among
other things, examine the
treatment of prisoners and coordinate with the proposed Corrections Ombudsman. Neither bill
passed.

315 Fifth Avenue South, Suite
850
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 324-1521
http://www.disabilityrightswa.or
g/

Washington State‘s designated
protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is Disability Rights Washington.

Disability Rights Washington is
a private non-profit organization
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state prisons and
local jails in Washington. As
part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed.

275. Municipal Research &
Services Center of Washington, Jail
Services and Alternatives to Incarceration,
http://www.mrsc.org/subjects/ pubsafe/ps-jails.aspx#Agreements (last
visited Nov. 23, 2009).
276. S.B. 5295.
277. S.B. 5070.

171

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50-STATE INVENTORY

1925

We have identified no formal external prison or jail oversight
mechanisms in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Regional Jail
and Correctional Facility Authority was established to ―regionalize‖ local jails in the state.
Local jails were closed, and regional jails, serving multiple
counties, replaced them. The
Authority plans and oversees the
operations of these facilities, and
has some mechanisms for monitoring the facilities, although

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered
General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

WEST VIRGINIA

these are not enforced through
regular inspections.
West Virginia‘s designated protection and advocacy organization for persons with mental
illness or disabilities is West
Virginia Advocates, Inc.

172

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[Vol. 30:5

West Virginia
Advocates, Inc.
1207 Quarrier Street, Suite 400
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 346-0847
www.wvadvocates.org

West Virginia Advocates, Inc. is
a private non-profit organization
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state prisons and
local jails in West Virginia. As
part of the nation‘s protection
and advocacy network, it has a
right of access to all correctional
facilities in which persons with
disabilities and mental illness
are housed.

173

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2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1927

WISCONSIN

Disability
Rights
Wisconsin

x x

Wisconsin
Department of
Corrections,
Office of
Detention
Facilities

x

x
x

x

The Wisconsin Department of
Corrections (DOC) has jail inspection authority. Further, by
statute, a county board of supervisors must inspect jails in their
county annually.278

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

STAT.

ANN.

§

x

x x

x

x

x

Lay

Inspectors

Professional

Restricted

Golden Key

Access

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

General Government

Issues Covered

x

We have not identified any formal external oversight body for
prisons in Wisconsin.

278. WIS.

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Wisconsin‘s designated protection and advocacy agency is Disability Rights Wisconsin, which
makes monitoring of the treatment of disabled and mentally ill
persons in corrections facilities a
high priority (thus warranting
inclusion in the chart above).

301.37(3) (2005).

174

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Disability Rights
Wisconsin
131 W. Wilson Street, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 267-0214
http://www.disabilityrightswi.org

Disability Rights Wisconsin is a
private, non-profit organization
that advocates for and protects
the rights of people with disabilities and mental illness, including those in state prisons and
local jails in Wisconsin. As part
of the nation‘s protection and
advocacy network, it has a right
of access to all correctional facilities in which persons with disabilities and mental illness are
housed.
Among the group‘s current priorities is advocating for persons
with disabilities in the criminal
justice and corrections system.
Specifically, Disability Rights
Washington is investigating forprofit health care providers for
county jails; assessing the quality of health care in selected jail
facilities; challenging disciplinary programs that do not take
account of an individual‘s disabilities that may affect behavior; and monitoring the DOC‘s
policies regarding long-term segregation of mentally ill inmates.279

279. Disability Rights Wisconsin, Highlights of DRW 2009 Advocacy Plans. Online, available at
http://www.disabilityrightswi.org/wp

[Vol. 30:5

Wisconsin Department
of Corrections, Office of
Detention Facilities
3099 East Washington Avenue
Post Office Box 7925
Madison, WI 53707-7925
(608) 240-5052
http://www.wi-doc.com/

The Wisconsin Department of
Corrections, through its Office of
Detention Facilities, is statutorily authorized to create standards
for local jails and make inspections at least every year for
―safety, sanitation, adequacy
and fitness‖ and report findings
to the local authorities. The office also investigates complaints,
deaths, suicides, and other critical incidents that occur in these
jails. Local jails have six months
to address the problems listed in
the report, and a failure to do so
could result in defunding and
closure.280 The DOC may order
a jail closed as a last resort, but
that is considered very unlikely
and has not occurred since the
late 1970s.281

-content/
uploads/2009/02/highlights-of-drw2009-advocacy-plans.pdf. (last visited Apr. 7, 2010).
280. WIS.
STAT.
ANN.
§
301.37(3) (2005).
281. U.S. Dep‘t of Justice, NIC
Information Center, Authority of
State-Level Jail Inspection Agencies
to Close County/Local Jails (Dec.
2003).

175

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

11/18/2010 2:25 PM

2010]

50-STATE INVENTORY

1929

There are no statutorily required
external oversight entities in
Wyoming for the prison system.282 From 2003 to 2005, the
Wyoming DOC was under the
supervision of the federal court
and a court-appointed Joint Expert pursuant to a remedial plan
addressing inmate safety issues.283 The Department of Jus-

282. E-mail from Bob Lampert,
Director of Wyoming DOC, to Ren
Nance (Mar. 20, 2006).
283. The Newsletter of the
Western Prison Project, JUSTICE
MATTERS. (Spring 2005, Vol. 7 No.

http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol30/iss5/21

Inspectors

Professional

Lay

Access

Restricted

Single Issue

Limited

General Corrections

Issues Covered

General Government

If Needed

Monitoring

Routine

Preventative

Single Jail

Jails Statewide

Prisons Statewide

Organization

Investigatory

Oversight
Function

Facility

Golden Key

WYOMING

tice was also providing oversight
of the DOC with regard to medical and staffing issues until
2006. However, no form of external oversight has taken the
place of these monitoring bodies.
Wyoming‘s designated protection
and advocacy organization for

2),
available
at
www.westernprisonproject.org/files/
JM_Spring_2005_Part1.pdf (last visited Apr. 7, 2010). See also E-mail
from
William
Collins,
courtappointed Joint Expert, to Michele
Deitch, (Nov. 23, 2009).

176

50STATES_JCI11.DOC

1930

11/18/2010 2:25 PM

PACE LAW REVIEW

[Vol. 30:5

persons with mental illness or
disabilities is Wyoming Protection & Advocacy System, Inc.

Wyoming Protection &
Advocacy System, Inc.
7344 Stockman St.
Cheyenne, WY 82009
(307) 632-3496
http://www.wypanda.com/

Wyoming Protection & Advocacy
System, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization that advocates for and protects the rights
of people with disabilities and
mental illness, including those
in state prisons and local jails in
Wyoming. As part of the nation‘s
protection and advocacy network, it has a right of access to
all correctional facilities in
which persons with disabilities
and mental illness are housed.

177

 

 

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