Symposium on the Deaf and the Justice System – Part 1

By BitcoDavid

It’s going to take me several days to relay the vast amount of information that was shared at yesterday’s symposium, so please be patient while I get it all assimilated and posted. Essentially, we have a total of about 5 hours of video – between two sources, a half dozen different PowerPoint files that I am in the process of acquiring for you, and numerous reports on all I learned while attending this wonderful and highly informative meeting.

The 4 members of Brookline P.D.'s special populations partnering program. Image: BitcoDavid
The members of Brookline P.D.’s community Service Division. Image: BitcoDavid

I’ll start today, with the Brookline Police Department’s pilot program where police and volunteer citizens partner to aid the Deaf, and other people with disabilities, during emergencies.

The 2 Sergeants and 1 officer did a great job of presenting, especially when you consider that cops and show-biz are a heterogeneous mixture. I even heard a joke or two.

Pictured are the 3 members of this unique task force – not in order – Officer Casey Hatchett, Sergeant Chris Malinn and Sergeant Jennifer Paster.

Always refreshing to see cops who don't look like this! Image:
Always refreshing to see cops who don’t look like this! Image:

Sergeant Paster spoke of her first encounter with a Deaf offender. She said that the woman was severely intoxicated – so much so that she had vomited on herself – but that more significantly, the woman was following none of Paster’s commands. It occurred to Paster, during this encounter, that the woman was Deaf. Upon bringing in the woman, Paster received rebuke from her superior. He said, “What am I going to do with ‘er?” The young officer had been told that she would have done better by leaving this impaired woman on the street where she could have gone on to harm herself or others. This incident inspired Paster to seek out better ways of dealing with both disabled perpetrators and the special needs population overall.

Charles "King" Solomon funeral at Fu...
Jewish racketeer, Charles “King” Solomon funeral at Fuller St., Brookline – 1933 (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

Sergeant Malinn has worked with the mentally ill, Autistic individuals, has trained officers on Police Professionalism issues –  including racial profiling, and is currently involved in working with youth in crisis.

Sergeant Hatchett currently works with domestic preparedness for emergency situations, child safety issues and coordinates the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). She works with volunteers to insure that the town of Brookline can meet the needs of citizens in crisis. She mentioned – yesterday – about an elderly Deaf woman who was without power for several days following a recent storm. The woman was OK, but quite concerned that nobody had come to check on her, in her apartment. Sergeant Hatchett pointed out, that this is exactly the kind of thing a volunteer group could handle, when the traditional police force is really unequipped for it.

I generally eschew anonymity, but it was nice to be able to talk to cops without the usual cotton-mouth. This Citizen thing ain’t all bad.

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.

6 thoughts on “Symposium on the Deaf and the Justice System – Part 1

  1. I don’t have any disagreement with your blog. Personally, I start to read much of your articles because sometime I wondered how Deaf were treated in prison, would like to know what is going with Deaf in prison. Thank you for put my blog in your related articles. You made my day very big and bright. I am glad that there are more articles with Deaf in the society where there are niches that are needed to speak up or write about.

    Thank you.


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