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Making Hard Times Harder: Programmatic Accommodations for Inmates with Disabilities Under the American’s with Disabilities Act

Author: AVID Prison Project
Publication Date: June 2016

“While prison is hard for everyone, incarceration is even more challenging for inmates with disabilities. Research shows that inmates with disabilities are sentenced to an average of fifteen more months in prison as compared to other inmates with similar criminal convictions. The time they serve is also harder, with more sanctions imposed and less access to positive programming than other inmates. Prisoners with disabilities are also four times more likely to report recent psychological distress as compared to inmates without disabilities. In a system intended to control and sanction behavior believed to violate the many regulations that govern prison life, inmates with disabilities who need accommodations are often overlooked, ignored, or even punished.”

This sets the background for the new report, “Making Hard Times Harder: Programmatic Accommodations for Inmates with Disabilities Under the Americans with Disabilities Act”, published in June by the AVID Prison Project. The report provides an overview of the protection and advocacy system, and discusses the different types of advocacy these types of organizations are using. It also outlines the American’s with Disabilities Act’s application in the prison system, focusing on three main areas of prison life: (1) hygiene, health and safety (2) accommodations in communication, and (3) access to programming and services. Access the full report to learn more.

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