Being Deaf in Prison
March 3, 2015 10:12 AM   Subscribe

What rights can a Deaf person who has been incarcerated expect? The National Association of the Deaf has a list of rights that correctional facilities must issue to Deaf people. However, a three-part documentary series done by HEARD (Helping to Advance the Rights of the Deaf) in conjunction with Al Jeezera (originally aired in December 2013) reveals that the actual experiences of Deaf prisoners diverge vastly from that of what they are entitled on on paper (trailer).

Using the documentary as a means to bring attention to the issue, HEARD began a social media campaign #DeafInPrison in June 2014. The organization also curates a fact sheet on current conditions for Deaf prisoners (English / ASL).

Interpreter Lydia Callis (previously, previouslier) weighs in with an article in the Huffington Post about how the criminal justice system fails Deaf prisoners. Meanwhile, the story becomes personal for Felix Garcia, a Deaf prisoner profiled in the documentary, as Deaf activists hope for the media attention will bring justice to Felix.

On a wider level, the criminal justice system is often used to terrorize and threaten this marginalized community, as police brutality against the Deaf is a well-documented phenomenon, with the ACLU weighing in. HEARD curates a log of police brutality against the Deaf on their website. Because Deaf people are frequently targeted at protests and silenced in civic processes, many have become disillusioned with the ability of political activism to advocate for them.
posted by Conspire (5 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I just wanted to note - while the full documentary by Al Jeezera and HEARD is no longer available online, if you email HEARD, they can give out digital copies for independent screenings!
posted by Conspire at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Gosh. Thanks for posting this. . . .
posted by Danf at 11:00 AM on March 3, 2015

So Al Jazeera and the Guardian are now the go to media to find out about how America upholds it's laws. Interesting.
posted by adamvasco at 2:39 PM on March 3, 2015

Another area of pain and despair I did not know about. Thank you for posting this. Is this the line for the revolution ?
posted by llc at 10:37 PM on March 3, 2015

Damn, I wanted to read that Lydia Callis article but the scripting on it totally hosed my browser. GRRR. (Just a heads up to anyone else who might run into that.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:18 AM on March 4, 2015

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