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Ombudsman Investigates Public Guardian

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

Concerned family members made a complaint about the guardianship of a man who died while a ward of the Public Guardian and the Office of Public Advocacy. The Ombudsman investigated whether the Public Guardian visited with the man, as required by state law, and whether they spent his limited resources in a way to provide him with safe and consistent housing. Based on the evidence, they had not. The Ombudsman also investigated how the Public Guardian managed his finances after his death.

Read the summary of the investigation, and the recommendations we made to the Office of Public Advocacy:

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Ombudsman Releases Report on Investigation of Alaska Psychiatric Institute

In Front Page News, Investigations, News by kate-omb

Today, Ombudsman Kate Burkhart released a report of the investigation of a complaint that Alaska’s state psychiatric hospital does not provide patients with adequate treatment planning or access to active treatment, both of which are required by law and agency policy. The Ombudsman investigated similar allegations in 2018.

The Ombudsman also investigated allegations that Alaska Psychiatric Institute has not addressed discriminatory, bullying, and hostile workplace conduct by staff and managers.

Read the press release.

Read the public summary report.

Read the Executive Summary Report of the 2018 Ombudsman Investigation of API.

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OMBUDSMAN RELEASES REPORT ON DOC USE OF FORCE COMPLAINT

In Front Page News, Investigations, News by kate-omb

Ombudsman Kate Burkhart has released a public summary of the investigation of a complaint that correctional officers used excessive force on three inmates at Anchorage Correctional Complex. In November, 2017, an inmate contacted the Ombudsman to report that he had, that morning, been inappropriately sprayed with oleoresin capsicum (OC or pepper spray) by a group of correctional officers. After an extensive investigation, the Ombudsman found the complaint justified and made 11 recommendations to resolve the deficiencies identified by the investigation.

Read the Press Release

Read the Public Summary Report

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Ombudsman Report on Investigation of COVID Complaints at DOC

In Front Page News, Investigations, News by kate-omb

The Ombudsman has released the public summary of her investigation of two complaints received in the fall of 2020 about how the Department of Corrections (DOC) was screening and quarantining people at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. The Ombudsman investigated 4 allegations, and found 2 supported by the evidence. DOC resolved one allegation during the investigation, and the Ombudsman made an additional recommendation related to screening for symptoms of COVID-19.

Read the press release.

Read the report.

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Ombudsman Releases Report on Investigation of OCS Complaint

In Front Page News, Investigations, News by kate-omb

Ombudsman Kate Burkhart has released a public report of the investigation of a complaint that the Office of Children’s Services improperly cancelled a relative adoption and pursued a change in foster placement.

The Ombudsman investigated three allegations, and found all three justified. She made two recommendations to OCS to prevent similar complaints. OCS committed to three additional actions to improve operations. Learn more and read the report.

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OMBUDS DAY, October 14

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

October 14 is the 4th annual celebration of Ombuds Day, created by the American Bar Association to highlight the many ways ombudsmen help resolve problems and conflict. Learn more about Ombuds Day.

We celebrate Ombuds Day all month, expanding our outreach in October so that all Alaskans know how we can help solve problems with state government, direct people to resources for other kinds of problems, and provide technical assistance to promote fair, efficient, and effective government.

To kick off our month of outreach, Ombudsman Kate Burkhart joined her colleagues Kristie Hirschman, Iowa Ombudsman, and Ken Skodacek, Chair of the Ombuds Day Committee, on the ABA Resolutions Podcast, to talk about the ombuds profession. Listen now.

Stay tuned all month for more resources and information about the Alaska State Ombudsman and the ombuds profession.