Table of Contents
Author(s): Dr. Kristin Lizor/Dr. Patricia Stoudt
This qualitative study was a narrative inquiry of the communication experiences of 7 deaf individuals incarcerated throughout 7 states. The researcher, deaf herself, interviewed 2 deaf inmates and 5 deaf ex-inmates about issues experienced with communication at home, school, and before, during, and after incarceration. The interviews were video recorded and transcribed. A Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) checked the transcripts for accuracy, providing inter-rater reliability. The communication experiences of each participant were narrated. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method to find common themes related to the research questions. The results of this study suggested 3 interventions:1) assigning deaf inmates to specially equipped facilities; 2) utilize a CDI, with legal knowledge and training, to work with deaf inmates, along with a skilled sign language interpreter; 3) utilize deaf legal advocates to clarify each step through the criminal justice system, which will help the deaf inmate more fully understand.