What is the purpose of the Office?
The independently operated Office of the Ombudsman, run by Lauren M. Andersen, MM, RN, CEN, CCRN, Director of the Office of Ombudsman, monitors and reports on the Massachusetts Department of Correction’s (DOC) efforts to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in the DOC’s facilities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
How does the Office operate?
The Office of the Ombudsman’s primary goal is to protect the health and safety of DOC employees, inmates, and their families. To accomplish this, the Office of the Ombudsman works independently of the DOC to investigate and report out on the DOC’s compliance with public health standards to ensure that the DOC is mitigating COVID-19 in its correctional facilities.
How does the Office monitor the DOC?
The Office of the Ombudsman initially released a set of public health standards using recommended best practices and guidance from public health experts (Standards) on October 28, 2021. The Office utilizes these Standards developed and maintained by the Office of the Ombudsman to evaluate the DOC’s efforts to lower COVID-19 infection rates in DOC correctional facilities.
The Office of the Ombudsman may update the Standards from time to time based on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and/or updated guidance and best practice recommendations from public health experts.
Who does the Office report to?
What staff make up the Office?
The Office of the Ombudsman consists of a director/ombudsman, two (2) regional administrators, an administrative coordinator, and a business intelligence analyst, who work together to fulfill the obligations of the Office of the Ombudsman. In addition, the Office of the Ombudsman is supported by advisors from UMass Chan Medical School with expertise in correctional health care, infection prevention, and business intelligence. Learn more about Office of the Ombudsman staff here.
What are the major responsibilities of the Office?
Major responsibilities of the Office of the Ombudsman include:
- Interacting with DOC employees, inmates, and their families;
- Investigating complaints and responding to inquiries around COVID-19;
- Monitor evolving public health standards and impacts on the Standards developed by the Office of the Ombudsman;
- Conducting audits and DOC site reviews to monitor COVID-19 compliance; and
- Provide bi-weekly reports and, in addition, recommendations, if requested, to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and the Joint Committee on Public Health.
How can I contact the Office?
Alternatively, for general matters, please email the Office of the Ombudsman directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach the Office to leave a voicemail via 833-662-8410. The voicemail is checked during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.