Florida Prisons Sued Over Treatment Of Disabled Inmates

A group representing disabled inmates has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Florida prison officials of discriminating against prisoners who are deaf, blind or confined to wheelchairs, in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Tallahassee by Disability Rights Florida, alleges that the Department of Corrections failed to provide interpreters and auxiliary aids, prosthetic devices and wheelchairs, and assistants and tapping canes to inmates with disabilities.

The lawsuit also accuses corrections officials of discriminating against disabled inmates by refusing to allow them to participate in services and programs available to other prisoners.

The ADA violations cause prisoners “to suffer from the humiliation, indignity, and difficulties that accompany such exclusion” and also violate prisoners’ constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process, lawyers for the Florida Justice Institute and the Morgan and Morgan law firm wrote in the 123-page complaint.

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