Not Providing Interpreters for Deaf Persons Can Result in Tragedy as Loss of Life as Well as Be Costly for Jail Systems

Shawn Francisco Vigil, died in prison. He was not provided an interpreter during the medical/psychological intake process, was placed in isolation and committed suicide.

From a suicide awareness contest
Image: http://media.photobucket.com/image/suicide/ShayySynthetic/SuicideAwarenessContest.jpg?o=3

Below, the link to the Denver Post‘s coverage:
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21565502/denver-settles-city-deaf-man-who-died-jail

Jail officials had housed Vigil in a special unit away from the general population and failed to do any “meaningful analysis of whether he posed a substantial danger to himself,” according to the lawsuit that was filed by Debbie Ulibarri, Vigil’s mother.

In recognition of their negligence, Denver has agreed to pay a settlement to Ulibarri’s family in the amount of $695,000.

The suit alleged the city did not adequately train staff, didn’t have proper accommodations for hearing impaired inmates, failed to provide a sign language interpreter and did not screen the inmate for mental health concerns.

Solitary Confinement by Stan Moody
Image: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/12/03/18701671.php

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