The original office of the Ombudsman for Corrections was created in 1972. 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.
The office was re-established in 2019 as the Office of Ombudsperson for the Department of Corrections.
On December 17, 2019, Gov. Walz announced his appointment of Mark Haase as the Ombudsperson for Corrections.
On September 22, 2022, Governor Tim Walz announced the appointment of Margaret Zadra to serve as the Ombudsperson for Corrections. Margaret Zadra has served as Interim Ombudsperson since January 2022.