Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates’ lawsuit

October 13, 2015 in Disability Law, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

The State Journal-Register
By Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press
Oct 12, 2015

CHICAGO – Attorneys who brought a 2011 complaint alleging the Illinois Department of Corrections violated the constitutional rights of deaf inmates said Monday that the case is proceeding after a federal judge granted class-action status to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges deaf and partially deaf prisoners have limited access to sign language interpreters, hearing aids and other accommodations at Illinois prisons. The result, attorneys say, is exclusion and isolation because the prisoners can’t communicate, effectively leaving them to miss religious services, hearings, court-mandated classes, doctors’ visits and, sometimes, emergency evacuations.

Both sides were negotiating a settlement, but attorney Alan Mills said talks broke down. Last week, Judge Marvin Aspen in Chicago granted class-action status  . . . Read More – deaf inmates