Deaf In Prison: Being Deaf In A Society of Captives

Posted on June 13, 2012 by


by BitcoDavid* of

In addition to what we have discussed in the first three parts in this series, other inmates often take advantage of the Deaf, for all the obvious reasons. They can’t complain to anyone.

Generally, in prison, any weakness is quickly and mercilessly exploited. What could possibly be more desirable amongst the abusers, than someone who is unable to communicate his suffering?

Rural prison in the United States. Image:

Furthermore, they don’t have the advantage of being able to hear people coming up behind them, or whispering about them in groups.

All those little defenses that we hearies take for granted, are not available to the profoundly deaf.

In theory of course, Deaf inmates are to be housed in special and segregated facilities, where they have interpreters, TTY or videophones, Deaf-specific medical care and trained officers who can work with them. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.

In a general population facility, these people are little more than meat – tragedies waiting to occur.

You can learn more about these issues through these websites:

Or simply type deaf in prison into an internet search.

BitcoDavid is a blogger, administrator, and primary contributor to Originally an a/v and computer engineer, he became interested in Deaf advocacy through his clients at DeafInPrison. DeafInPrison also features Dr. McCay Vernon – a psychologist and author, Pat Bliss – a paralegal that has been active in cases, Joanne Greenberg – an advocate and author, and Jean F. Andrews – a university professor and author.

Editor’s note: The blogosphere is home to many sites that work to educate and reform the criminal justice system. is one outstanding example. Through getting to know the site’s webmaster, CrimeDime took an interest in their work. We asked several questions with the idea of doing an interview, but it turns out there’s so much to discuss on this topic that a series of separate posts made more sense. This is the final piece in our series, but you can find the first three posts linked below. 

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