The new New Inquiry, an issue that takes up prison abolition, contains an essay by faculty member Sara Nović, “The Right to Remain Silent,” about the plight of deaf inmates. Here you can read a little, then go read a lot.
Deaf inmates’ daily struggles highlight the root cause of our justice system’s failings: those whose duty it is to enforce the law are routinely some of its greatest violators. The ADA has been a federal law for 27 years. There has been plenty of time to train, adjust, and implement structures. But without individuals constantly seeking change and holding those in power expressly accountable, nothing happens. And with an incoming Secretary of Education, President, and Attorney General who seek to dismantle protections afforded to the deaf and disabled, such advocacy is more important than ever.