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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 181885 Find in a Library
Title: Deaf in the Prison System
Author(s): Janet L. Duvall
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Ohio University-Chillicothe
Chillicothe, OH 45601
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses problems encountered by prisons in dealing with deaf inmates and the problems encountered by deaf inmates in adjusting to prison life; solutions for the various problems identified are suggested.
Abstract: Problems encountered by prisons in dealing with deaf inmates include the diversity in sign languages used by the deaf, patterns in which the deaf interact or do not interact with "hearing" society, the various categories of deafness, patterns of nonverbal communication, the formation of gangs of deaf inmates, and lawsuits by deaf inmates. Ways of dealing with these problems include staff training in the subculture of deaf persons, the purchase of equipment manufactured especially for deaf/hearing impaired persons, and the creation of orientation programs specifically for deaf inmates. Problems experienced by deaf inmates are isolation, a lack of interpreters in prison, the indifference of the prison administration toward their special needs, and lack of funding for resources for deaf inmates. Socialization with other deaf inmates within the prison environment is a major benefit for the deaf inmates, and the use of outside interpreters is helpful. Coping with attitudes and misconceptions by State officials, administration, and staff can only be improved with training in the subculture of the deaf and in the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides comprehensive civil rights protection for disabled persons. Appended media accounts of lawsuits filed by deaf inmates and 3 references
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Inmate characteristics; Inmate lawsuits; Persons with Disabilities; Persons with physical disabilities; Prison management
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