A move in the Missouri House to create an advocate for prisoners is changed into proposal to create an advocate for the victims of crime. A few state lawmakers have pushed for the creation of an independent Corrections Ombudsman for the past couple of years, someone to listen to prisoner complaints and take action, if appropriate. Proposals have failed to make it through the House and when State Representative Pat Dougherty of St. Louis proposes appropriating money in the state budget for the position, he’s accused of trying to make an end-run around the normal process, a charge he denies. The assurance doesn’t satisfy Representative Jon Dolan of Lake St. Louis, who strongly opposes creation of a Corrections Ombudsman. He points out the Corrections Department has a constituents services division that serves the same purpose. The House rejects the ombudsman appropriation, instead funding the creation of a Victims Ombudsman.
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