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File a complaint about a state or federal prison

You can file a complaint about a prison, policy, procedure, or abuse of someone in prison. Learn where to direct your complaint and what steps to take.

Complain about a local, county, or state prison

To submit a complaint about a local, county, or state prison:

  1. File a formal complaint first directly with the state or local correctional facility.

  2. If the issue remains unsolved, contact the state department of corrections office.

  3. Contact your governor if the prison and the department of corrections office still have not addressed your complaint.

Give the complaint time to progress before going on to the next step. You can also seek qualified legal advice if your complaint remains unresolved.

Complain about a federal prison

To submit a complaint about a federal prison:

  1. File a formal complaint directly with the facility. Look up the prison contact information.

  2. If the prison did not resolve your complaint, file a complaint with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) regional office that oversees the facility.

  3. If you still cannot get your issue addressed, contact BOP Headquarters or the Department of Justice - Office of the Inspector General, which oversees the BOP.

LAST UPDATED: July 27, 2023


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