The South Carolina Department of Corrections has agreed to provide assistance to hearing-impaired inmates, settling claims it had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Justice Department, which announced the settlement Thursday afternoon, alleged the corrections department failed to provide deaf inmates with sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids and services. Further, the Justice Department claimed those inmates were excluded from religious and vocational events.
Deaf prisoners will also have telecommunication access allowing them to talk with families and attorneys like other inmates, the Justice Department said.
“Access to services and programming is not only a right under the ADA for the inmates who are deaf and hard of hearing, in this instance, these services will enable the inmates to improve their job skills and better ready themselves for a law-abiding life,” said U.S. Attorney Beth Drake. “That’s good corrections policy that benefits the whole state.”
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