People Who Are Deaf Face a "Prison Within a Prison"
Date:  04-11-2017

Deaf people in prison face discrimination on many levels
From Truthout:

On March 31, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support of a plan to close Rikers Island Jail Complex within the next decade. "It will take many or announced at a press conference at City Hall. Up until last week, Mayor de Blasio held fast to the idea that "reform," not closure, was the solution to the systematically unjust policies and practices that feed the most vulnerable people from the most beset communities in New York into one of the most notoriously violent jails in the nation.

Notably, the mayor's reversal comes after years of activism led by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as by their loved ones and advocates. The announcement also comes on the heels of the release of a gripping SpikeTV docuseries, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, which has helped propel Rikers Island, solitary confinement and the enduring injustices of our nation's criminal legal system to the forefront of consciousness of millions of people. Produced by Shawn "Jay Z" Carter and Harvey Weinstein, this six-part docuseries elevates the haunted voice of Kalief Browder whose unmitigated torture as a child on Rikers Island led to his tragic and untimely death by suicide. TIME reminds us that Kalief Browder is but a singular representative of countless people trapped at Rikers and in the labyrinth of deadly jails across this nation.

While many have finally conceded that the criminal legal system has devastating intergenerational effects on certain marginalized communities -- communities of color, low-income and no-income communities, and LGBTQ communities, just to name a few -- far too little attention is paid to the injustices visited upon disabled and deaf communities, or to the link between these marginalized communities and the disabled identity. With very few exceptions, the research and advocacy that does focus on disability in carceral settings focuses almost exclusively on mental health disparities. Consequently, other disabled people -- including people with mental illness who have other disabilities -- are being funneled into and tortured at Rikers Island and jails and prisons across the nation with practically no public awareness, scrutiny or outcry. Continue reading >>>