View Full Version : Ombudsman-Why did it close? How to re-open

09-08-2006, 07:50 AM
I am curious as to why the Ombudsmans office in Michigan was closed down. It seems there are more and more problems with the MDOC because there is no go-between to address issues. Is there a way to get the Ombudsman office back?

Lions Heart
09-08-2006, 04:36 PM
I wasn't involved in this system when they closed that office (or at least I don't think I was). I would venture to guess that they closed it as a result of budget cuts. I'm sure someone will answer better than I can. It would be great to have it re-open and have another outlet to voice complaints to.

09-08-2006, 04:40 PM
Yes, because it seems like MDOC is getting away with murder anymore. Nothing is getting investigated like it used to. I can see having to make some cuts in the budget but this is not one that should have been made.

09-08-2006, 04:41 PM
Yes it was due to budget cuts :( and well... the ombudsman's office was good at what they did so read between the lines!! THAT was just my :twocents:

09-08-2006, 04:44 PM
Maybe we need to convince some people that we definitely need it back. I'm wondering if we couldn't make that suggestion to the ones that are doing the investigation on the healthcare? I think they should come to that conclusion themselves.

09-08-2006, 04:50 PM
good suggestion!!!

09-09-2006, 06:50 AM
Does anyone know when the ombudsman was eliminated? I was wondering under which govenor it was done. With the upcoming election I would like to get all the facts straight before I decide who I will vote for. I think the ombudsman was something that should not have been eliminated due to the problems we are now facing and the issues NOT being addressed. There is no recourse now!

09-09-2006, 11:01 AM
I believe it closed down in 2003.

09-10-2006, 07:36 PM closed Sept. 2003...when the new budget year and my guy's case was one of the last cases heard by the ombudsman's office...they helped overturn our sexual misconduct/visitor restriction situation! I think the ombudsman's office should be re-openned also...

09-10-2006, 07:38 PM
So how could we go about getting this office re-opened? Any ideas?

09-10-2006, 07:48 PM
It closed down due to it being a direct line of fact to the media...Along with the prison attorneys who were running efficiently out of that trailor in Jackson...(which I believe,but have been wrong before, was funded through other sources besides MDOC)The ombudsman, however, did get paid through MDOC and it just seemed too much...just like cutting out video interviews and the media in general...You do your own assumption but if you look will see the connection between the Cain case and the complaints that the ombudsman brought to the MDOCs attention as to why it was REALLY closed down. Just my opinion if "you know what I am sayin".

09-10-2006, 08:56 PM
It was shut down under Granholm.. Wasn't it??


09-11-2006, 11:58 AM
Here is an article in the Detroit Free Press today and just what we are talking about.

:) :) :)

09-11-2006, 01:16 PM
This was absolutely wonderful that he wrote about this!!!

09-11-2006, 01:22 PM
I think I'm gonna start sending Jeff Gerritt fan mail. :D


09-11-2006, 01:29 PM
Also, the lawsuit that he wrote about Tim Souder is just ONE of many, many lawsuits that the MDOC is dealing with. I'm sure that these loawsuits get paid out of tax-payer dollars. Is there anyway that we could find out exactly what the MDOC pays out in lawsuits and how many there have been and soon be because we have no Ombudsmans Office?

09-11-2006, 04:59 PM
...good article...I hope more people read this and get the message...

09-11-2006, 08:26 PM
Good article and I'm glad he wrote it. I am starting to get concerned about him though.. If others don't start writing articles as well he's putting himself out on the limb career wise and pressure may be brought to bear by those with the power that don't want the system changed...


09-11-2006, 08:33 PM
Deb, funny you mentioned that. I was thinking sort of the same thing today. I do know, however, he is not alone at the Free Press in his thinking. Other articles are printed by other people without by-lines. All that being said, I applaud him for taking a stand where others would not.

09-12-2006, 05:44 AM
I have to admit that once upon a time I was one of those people who didn't think there was anything wrong with our prison system. That is until I began to have to deal with it. My guy said the same thing. It's like out of sight out of mind. I hope that Jeff continues to go against the general outlook and let the public know what it is REALLY like in prison.

Tom H
11-18-2006, 05:46 PM
The Office of the Legislative Corrections Ombudsman closed for business on October 1, 2003. I was a field investigator from January 2000 until the last day. The official reason the office closed was "budget cuts" - we had a total outlay of $500,000.00 in the legislative budget - not part of the 1.8 billion dollars the MDOC gets each year. There was also a lot of misinformation being passed around the legislature when the enemies of the office were trying to garner support for the closure. For example, some legislators told us that they were being told we all had $100,000.00 salaries and that we always sided with the prisoner when a complaint was made. Blatant lies that any legislator could've dispelled with a simple phone call. Personally, I think apathy killed the Ombudsman and now the chickens have come home to roost.

Tom H
Attorney in Lansing

11-18-2006, 07:18 PM
You probably had no choice but to side with the prisoner because they don't lie as much as some employees. In the MDOC you are told right at the academy to CYA. So they do and the state backs them up on it. It takes the Ombudsman to come in to investigate and watch the videos to figure out that the inmate, loved ones, etc. are not the liars afterall in most cases. Now things have gotten out of hand and now the legislature KNOWS who the liars are and they need to do something about it soon because the tax-payers are paying through the nose for lawsuits. I wish we could get some figures and have Jeff Gerritt lay them out to the public. Anyway possible?

11-20-2006, 06:14 AM
How to get it back? Write, call, e-mail your state rep. and senator. Ask for a personal one-on-one meeting with them. Don't stop complaining. Send your problems to your state reps. and senators and tell them since there is no longer an ombudsman to do the job they need to step up to the plate and represent you which is what they were elected to do. That's my 2 cents for starters.