Office of the Ombudsman


The Office of the Ombudsman works independently as an intermediary to provide individuals with a confidential avenue to address complaints and resolve issues at the lowest possible level. The Office proposes policy and procedural changes when systemic issues are identified.

Ombudsman Quick Links

What the Ombudsman Can and Can’t Do

The Office of the Ombudsman listens, answers your questions, analyzes your situation, explains CDCR policies and procedures, advocates for the fairness of a process as opposed to advocating for an individual party, provides information and at times advice and develops options, suggests appropriate referrals, apprises administration of significant trends and may recommend changes in policies and procedures.

The Office of the Ombudsman does not conduct formal investigations; does not change rules, policies, or procedures; does not participate in any formal hearing or grievance process; does not supersede the authority of other CDCR officials; does not disclose and may not be required to disclose information provided in confidence, except to address an imminent risk of serious harm where there is no other responsible option; and does not engage in any activity that might be perceived by others as advocacy for any individual.

With regard to medical issues please note due to patient privacy laws the Office of the Ombudsman cannot divulge or discuss specific health treatment an inmate-patient is receiving; rather, this Office can assist concerned family members by listening to their concerns and referring them to the appropriate health care staff at an institution.

When contacting the Office of the Ombudsman, please provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your relationship to the offender
  • CDCR number of the offender
  • Location of the offender
  • Brief description of the issue
  • Brief overview of the results of efforts made by you, and the offender, to resolve the issue

You may contact the Office of the Ombudsman by calling (916) 445-1773, completing the Ombudsman Contact Form, or writing to:

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Office of the Ombudsman
1515 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Statement of Goals

  • To be accessible to all who are entitled to make use of the Office of the Ombudsman and actively seek removal of any impediment to it.
  • To be independent and to demonstrate the highest standards of impartiality, objectivity, thoroughness, fairness and accuracy in the review, consideration and resolution of complaints.
  • To be sensitive to the needs of relatives or family of the incarcerated, and the community providing explanations and insights and ensuring that all non-confidential pertinent information from our review is shared.
  • To be effective by ensuring that review of complaints are conducted thoroughly and as quickly as possible and that recommendations are well founded, capable of being implemented, and are followed through
  • To be constructive in helping the Department to deliver responsiveness and accountability by improving their handling of complaints and eliminating the underlying causes of them.
  • To be accountable to stakeholders for the fulfillment of our mission statement, our values and aims and objectives.
  • To be fair in the treatment of all complainants without regard to criminal history, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion, or any other irrelevant consideration.
  • To be empowering by creating and maintain a working environment in which colleagues are respected, engage in continuous learning, obtain job satisfaction and have equal opportunities for personal and career development.