FAMM releases statement on introduction of bill that would change prison ombudsman processes in Michigan

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FAMM releases statement on introduction of bill that would change prison ombudsman processes in Michigan

LANSING – FAMM’s Deputy Director of Policy Maria Goellner released the following statement after the Michigan Senate introduced a bill that would make changes to the office of the Legislative Corrections Ombudsman in Michigan.

“Allowing for a wider range of people – most especially, family members of incarcerated people and correctional staff – to file formal complaints to the ombudsman is a great step toward transparency for Michigan’s prisons,” Goellner said. “Giving more people the power to report issues makes it easier for them to be investigated, and in turn, makes prisons safer for incarcerated people and staff. We hope to see this bill on the Governor’s desk.”

The bill, introduced by Senator Sylvia Santana and supported by Michigan Citizens for Prison Reform would allow family members, advocates, and Michigan Department of Corrections staff to file formal complaints with the ombudsman, require the ombudsman to establish standardized forms, and create reporting requirements, among other changes.

“We should be committed to making Michigan’s prisons a safe place for both those incarcerated, and those who work inside,” Santana said. “My office has heard from numerous family members and formerly incarcerated people that this is necessary. I believe that having a more robust Ombudsman department would support mitigation of unnecessary lawsuits against the Department.”

For more than three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM has led the fight to reform extreme mandatory sentencing laws and to promote rehabilitation and dignity for all people in prison, 94 percent of whom will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families.