New prison oversight office issues 1st report


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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A new office that oversees problems in the state prison system has issued its first report.

The Office of Corrections Ombuds opened last year to provide independent oversight of the Washington Department of Corrections.

The Spokesman-Review says the first comprehensive annual report by the watchdog urges the Corrections Department to improve medical and mental health care, food quality, family visitation and programs to rehabilitate prisoners.

The ombuds office received just over 2,000 prisoner complaints during its first 10 months of operation and reviewed more than half of them. One in five complaints involved poor health care.

The Department of Corrections says it is preparing a detailed response of the report.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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