Being an ex-con is hard enough.
Many of the educational opportunities available to people in prison are not available to the deaf inmate. We hear of men graduating high school and even of completing college by taking advantage of the volunteer-run programs that tutor and teach.I know three people who conduct such programs as well as programs for simple pleasure and improvement – poets in prison, being one. In our federal and state institutions the deaf stand outside the options provided for help and training. Unless members of the deaf support world stand up to help, these programs and others will never be available to the deaf prisoner.
Education may be the brightest hope prisoners have and a hand extended to help might be of great advantage in the lives of deaf prisoners in and out of the correctional system. Being an ex-con is hard enough. The social cost is already great. I’m not trying to appeal to professional interpreters, but to people in the larger deaf community who know Sign–sisters, brothers, friends. If you want to do something good, go to jail, go to prison. If my Sign weren’t so lousy, I’d be there, myself.