Deaf inmates sue Michigan over lack of services in prisons

(file photo)

DETROIT (AP) — Deaf prisoners and other inmates who have trouble hearing have filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan, accusing officials of failing to meet their communication needs behind bars.

Prisoners say they’re stuck with decades-old technology that makes it impossible to communicate with relatives because few people on the outside still use a telephone that’s attached to a keyboard and screen. The inmates say they’ve been denied the latest technology, which includes video.

The 50-page lawsuit identifies many other problems, including a lack of interpreters and hearing aids.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, a group designated by the state to protect the rights of the disabled. The Corrections Department declined to comment.

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