November 18, 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 Wednesday. The group says the settlement will make Powhatan the first major state prison in the country to install a videophone so deaf inmates can communicate with family and friends.
It also provides inmates with interpreters two days a week, sign language interpretation of rules and other instruction, and visual notification of meals and events.
A Department of Corrections spokesman refused to comment.
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