Likewise, a majority of adult correction facilities include some form of spokesperson representing the concerns of incarcerated persons, and this is often an ombudsman. By monitoring the relationship between inmates and prison officials, such programs have been successful at improving conditions within correctional institutions to ensure safe and humane treatment of incarcerated persons.
However, the success of an adult correctional ombudsman program has more risk and often depends on the authority of the ombudsman to pursue remedies and manage the competing interests of prisoners and officials. If inmates do not trust an ombudsman’s ability to fairly address their complaints, or if prison officials feel that the ombudsman’s recommendations are unreasonable, serious obstacles to harmonious relations may undermine the program. An ombudsman’s statutory authority must be exercised with care to maintain balanced relationships among correctional administrators, staff, and inmates. However, when created and administered correctly, a correctional ombudsman program that remains independent of a department of corrections can palpably reduce tension within a prison facility and achieve many positive results in the overall running of the facility.