DeafInPrison rough in Britain, Too

By BitcoDavid

This article was brought to our attention by Handeyes from PEOPLE OF THE EYE. It originally appeared in Charlie Swinbourne’s Limping Chicken. According to research by the Howard League for Penal Reform, the British penal system is unable to meet the needs of Deaf inmates, and as a result, these inmates are not getting the rehabilitation services afforded their hearing counterparts. The report titled, Not hearing us: An exploration of the experience of deaf prisoners in English and Welsh prisons by Daniel McCullough, was sponsored by the Howard League.

Mountjoy Prison, the main committal prison in ...
Mountjoy Prison, the main committal prison in the Republic of Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Limping Chicken reports:

Some deaf prisoners interviewed as part of the research claimed to have had trouble accessing employment, education courses and behaviour classes in prison because of issues relating to their disability.

Others said they were concerned about their safety in the event of a fire because they would be unable to hear an alarm and would be unsure of what to do. Some deaf prisoners feel lonely and isolated because of difficulties communicating with other inmates, as well as family members and legal services outside of prison.

In this report, McCullough writes of a partial justice system, referring to the inequity of treatment for the Deaf. He makes reference to Shrewsbury Prison, where inmates and guards are both offered BSL courses, as a model by which other British prisons can benchmark.

English: Frances Crook OBE. Director, the Howa...
Frances Crook OBE. Director, the Howard League for Penal Reform. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Howard League CEO, Frances Crook said, “The Howard League legal team has represented young deaf prisoners who have experienced difficulties in participating in the prison regime because their needs were ignored and misunderstood both in state prisons and in private jails. This research should spark a reconsideration of the services provided to the deaf inside penal institutions. It is unacceptable that organs of the state and commercial prisons fail to comply with equalities legislation.” — LC

The 44 page report is available for download, but a login is required. Here’s that link:

and here’s the link to Limping Chicken’s original coverage: is grateful to them for allowing us to reblog this story, and grateful to Handeyes for bringing it to our attention.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

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