Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Alicia A. Malone Ph. D.


d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals have faced substantial discrimination when it comes to education, healthcare, and employment. This paper argues that discrimination in our criminal justice system is likely no exception. Previous research has shown that d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing inmates are treated unequally while serving time in prison (Vernon, 2010). Rather than using proactive measures to provide appropriate resources within prison, correctional facilities within the U.S. tend to be reactive to the claims of d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing inmates once they are released from prison. There is no literature that I am aware of that has focused on specific prisons and their resources/services provided to d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing inmates. This paper aims to explore what resources and services may or may not be available to d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing inmates across Massachusetts jails and prisons through personal communications with representatives from Massachusetts jails and prisons. Additionally, I make policy recommendations and propose a two-day training for employees of Massachusetts jails and prisons so that they can learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act, how it applies to d/Deaf inmates, and any further unique needs of this population.

Included in

Criminal Law Commons