Thursday, March 7, 2013
Is Denver Violating the Rights of Deaf Prisoners?
Susan Green of The Colorado Independent recently reported that the U.S. Justice department has opened an investigation into whether Denver jail officials have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act through its failure to provide sign-language interpreters for deaf prisoners. The investigation was prompted by a lawsuit filed by a profoundly deaf man who claims that he was repeatedly denied an interpreter while in the Denver County Jail, even when undergoing intake, classification and medical interviews. A previous lawsuit, alleging the failure to provide interpreters for three deaf inmates, failure to provide adequate accommodations, and failure to properly train staff to deal with deaf prisoners, resulted in the city agreeing to settle the claim for $695,000.