HB 0170 Relating to the Department of Corrections
Sponsor:WHITESIDE Handling House Bill:
Committee:CICS LR Number:L0547.01I
Last Action:01/18/95 - Referred H Correctional and State Institutions
Effective Date:
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Current Bill Summary

HB0170 Whiteside, Dale et al


HB 170 -- Corrections

This bill requires the Department of Corrections to establish an offender grievance procedure for the resolution of formal and informal grievances by offenders. The department will establish guidelines which will include the filing and appealing of grievances, referral of grievances, recommendations, and the establishment of a constituent services office for inmates.

The bill creates the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Corrections with the duty to review formal grievances referred by the director and make recommendations to resolve grievances; have monthly meeting in different correctional centers; review individual programs, services, and physical structures; and make recommendations to the director. The advisory committee may recommend that the ombudsman, whose office will be located within the Department of Public Safety, investigate significant offender grievances and institutional problems that have not been adequately resolved by the Department of Corrections.

The Department of Corrections is required to establish and maintain an office of constituent services to resolve informal grievances and report to the director. The constituent services office is required to make a monthly report to the advisory committee.

The advisory committee along with the Director of the Department of Public Safety will select an ombudsman. It is the duty of the ombudsman to initiate impartial investigations at the request of the committee. The bill also requires the Director of the Department of Corrections to provide the committee and the ombudsman access to nonprivileged records and to correctional facilities to conduct interviews and observe services, conditions, and treatment being provided to inmates. Records of the ombudsman are confidential except when otherwise authorized by the ombudsman or a majority vote of the advisory committee.

The bill requires the advisory committee to file an annual report which will be distributed by the Director of Corrections.

Violations of certain provisions of this bill are a class A misdemeanor.