Probation: A Cycle of Despair

"Probation" by Alessandro Scali and ...
“Probation” by Alessandro Scali and Robin Goode (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Probation for the deaf offender can be a cycle of despair. It is a tangle of complex and confusing rules with heavy consequences if the rules are not followed.  This is ever so certain particularly if the deaf individual has poor sign skills, a low reading level, a poor educational history.  Interpreters are often provided for some of the meetings with the case managers but not all of them so the deaf individuals have knowledge gaps on how to comply with probation.  More often than not they have had  no previous significant job training nor skills in time management, budgeting and the “how tos” of keeping a job. And if we add poverty to this sad picture, we see that many cannot afford the fees associated with probation, nor find affordable housing, and dependable transportation to the job. What if

English: Havant Probation Services
Havant Probation Services (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

buses don’t run on Sunday but the deaf person must make it to work?  In addition, they have difficulties finding accessible drug and alcohol treatment if that is part of the probation package. Having an insensitive, busy and overloaded, and deaf culture-deficient case manager won’t help matters much either. Deaf probationees need advocates. Someone qualified, compassionate and williing to help them not fall through the cracks and end up in prison again and again.

The Probation Officer
The Probation Officer (Photo credit: micadew)

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