The office of ombudsman for the Minnesota Department of Corrections was created by Governor Wendell Anderson in 1972 on an experimental basis as the Ombudsman Commission, funded by Law Enforcement Assistance Administration grants through the Governor's Crime Commission. In 1973, the legislature established the office as an independent agency of state government known as the Ombudsman for Corrections.
In 2002 the Minnesota Legislature reduced the budget for the Ombudsman for Corrections to $0 for 2003 (see HF351 and 2002 Minn. Laws, Chap. 220 Art. 6 Sec. 4) and in the 2003 Special Session the Minnesota Legislature eliminated the office of the Ombudsman for Corrections (see 2003 Minn. Laws, 1st Spec. Sess., Chap. 2 Art. 5 Sec. 1).
In 2007 the Legislature established a Corrections Ombudsman Working Group to be chaired by the Commissioner of Human Rights to consider, among other things, whether the Ombudsman for Corrections should be reinstated. A report detailing the group's findings and recommendations was issued in January 2008.
In 2019 the Legislature re-established the office as the Ombudsperson for Corrections.