Deaf Inmates Settle Lawsuit Against Commonwealth

October 21, 2010

A group of deaf and hard of hearing inmates at Powhatan Correctional Center have settled their lawsuit accusing the state Department of Corrections of discrimination.

The Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs announced the settlement on Tuesday.

The group says the settlement resulted in the first major state prison in the country installing a videophone to allow the inmates to communicate with family and friends.

It also provides inmates with interpreters two days a week, sign language interpretation of rules, proceedings, medical appointments and educational and vocational instruction. Visual notification of meals and events also will be provided.

The Department of Corrections refused to comment on the settlement.

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