Message from the Director of the OCO

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June 1, 2022

Dear Stakeholders:

Today is my first day as the Director of the Office of the Corrections Ombuds and I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and share some of my goals as we begin this new chapter together.

Thank you, Sonja Hallum 

Before proceeding, though, I would like to publicly say thank you to Sonja Hallum for serving as the Interim Director of the Office of the Corrections Ombuds (OCO) since December 2021.  Over the last six months, I have had the good fortune of directly working with Sonja as we restructured and redesigned OCO business functions to better meet the needs of incarcerated individuals, their friends, and their families.  I am grateful for the ways Sonja has invested in the OCO and I especially appreciate the consistent methods and strategies she used to invite me to grow as a leader. The OCO is a stronger organization because of Sonja’s time with us and we wish her continued happiness and success as she returns to the Governor’s Policy Office.


I started today with an all-staff meeting and shared with the team that I will be introducing my goals for the OCO in the coming months. I reminded staff that, as an ombuds agency, we have the extra responsibility to operate with the highest professional and ethical standards and I shared that my leading core value in every action is respect. You have my unwavering promise that respect will drive every decision and action I make as the Director of the OCO. The most ethical way I know to demonstrate respect is through Actions not Words. This does not mean that respect cannot be through words; it just means that, for me, words are not enough.


My first goal is to embed a culture of accountability at the OCO. For the next three months (June - August), Angee Schrader, Elisabeth Kingsbury, and I (the OCO Management Team) will continue implementing processes and procedures to ensure accountability. We will also collect and assess data to see if our changes work. I promise you that the OCO Management Team will be purposeful, respectful, and transparent with our actions and our words. Furthermore, we know that the OCO is accountable to the people we serve.

Facility Visits

Along with embedding a culture of accountability at the OCO, my priority this month is facility visits. In June, members of the OCO team and I will meet with incarcerated individuals, DOC staff, and facility leadership at the following six prisons:     

OCO June Facility Visits

We plan to post brief updates for all future facility visits on this dedicated page on the OCO website: Visits to DOC Facilities.

Monthly Outcome Reports

We thank you for patiently waiting for us to release our significantly delayed Monthly Outcome Reports (MORs). I am eager for the OCO to meet our goal of releasing a report by the end of the month following the closing date for the report, and I asked the OCO staff to prioritize this work. Below is our very ambitious release timetable.

OCO MOR Release Timetable

We plan to release our December 2021 MOR this week. Moving forward, we will publish the MORs on this dedicated page on the OCO website:  Monthly Outcome Reports.

Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting

Our next Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting is scheduled for June 30, 2022. Once finalized, we will post time and location details on this dedicated page on the OCO website: Quarterly Stakeholder Meetings.

A Personal Note of Thanks

Finally, on a personal note, I am energized, humbled, and very proud to be the Director of the Office of the Corrections Ombuds. I joined the OCO in March 2020, just as our state started prohibiting public gatherings and we began statewide closures. Every month since March 2020, I have met in person with incarcerated individuals, DOC staff, and facility leadership, often under facility outbreak statuses. I know that it is a privilege to be able to enter prisons and freely walk around, and then pass through the exit gates and return home. Witnessing firsthand the effects of the pandemic on the people who live and work in our state’s prisons has been both informative and deeply challenging. As Director, I will, as often as possible, continue visiting facilities and talking directly with the people we serve.

As an ombuds, I know that our work must align with the ethics of equal and social justice and that we must negotiate meaningful resolutions for the people we serve. It is a privilege to be asked to lead and I look forward to always daring greatly for the work of the OCO.

Thank you,

Caitie Signature

Caitlin Robertson, Ph.D. 

Director, Office of the Corrections Ombuds