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Hearing Impaired Accessibility and Call Monitoring

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Answered (Verified) This post has 1 verified answer | 4 Replies | 5 Followers

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Chris Auen posted on Mon, May 15 2017 1:21 PM

I am looking for information regarding hearing impaired inmates, accommodations, and accessibility to effective communication.

We have a system and services in place through a vendor that provide for Video Relay Services (VRS) and Video Relay Interpretering (VRI).

Inmates making outgoing voice only calls are charged (collect or pre-paid) for their calls and they are notified they may be recorded. Notification is given to both parties at the beginning of each call before the connection is made for recording. My questions are:

1. Do agencies charge thier hearing impaired inmates for videophone calls? If yes, does the phone vendor track and record those calls? Are they recorded even if they do not charge for them?

2. What amount of time or how often (if different than voice calls) do you allow for videophone calls?

3. If an inmate can make more than one voice call during a time frame, do you allow for more than one videophone call for a hearing impaired inmate as well?

4. If subpoened for court for example, who does and pays for the transcription of the call? What's the turn around?

5. Is there a staff member assigned to periodically view videophone calls to ensure nothing inappropriate is occuring on either end of the call? 

6. Do any agencies have the capability to have a third party intrepreter make outside phone calls using the video visitation system? 

7. What concerns have other agencies had regarding videophone calls for the hearing impaired?

Any help is appreciated

 

Sergeant Chris Auen


Accreditation Manager


Detention Services Division


240-773-9746 (O)


Montgomery County, Maryland

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Answered (Verified) Mike Cox replied on Mon, May 22 2017 12:00 PM
Verified by Chris Auen

We also have vendors in place for both Video Relay Services (VRS) and Video Relay Interpretering (VRI) services.  We have a stand alone video phone system and mobile tablets we utilize in our Intake, Medical and Confinement areas of the facility.

1. We dot not charge for the services.

2. There is no limit on the videophone calls (VRS/VRI)

3. More than one videophone call can be made by an impaired inmate, using multiple devices.

4. If requested by the attorney (Public/Defender or District/Commonwealth Attorney) they would be responsible for obtaining the transcript from the vendor.

5. We do have a staff member that is assigned to review the recordings, when requested to do so by investigators.

6. The systems we utilize does not allow for thrid party calling using the videophone system.

7. We have no other concerns regarding the systems.  We did involve our County ADA compliance officer in the process of implementing these translation services.

Hope this helps.

Mike

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Dear Chris,

We have gathered some resources on hearing impaired accessibility and call monitoring that may be useful with your research:

  • How do deaf people make phones call from prison?: Only seven prisons across the nation have videophones. Deaf prisoners at thousands of other prisons across the nation either have no access to telecommunications, or are forced to rely on other prisoners or the outmoded Teletypewriter for the Deaf (TTY). Since TTYs require the user to type out their communication, they prove to be an inadequate and ineffective means for deaf prisoners to communicate with their families. Moreover, this mode of communication is especially ineffective for deaf prisoners who need to communicate with advocates and attorneys who need to convey complex information with complicated or specialized vocabulary. Deaf prisoners with deaf family members have absolutely no contact with their family members because TTYs and videophones are not compatible. Most deaf individuals have long-since abandoned TTY technology for other practical and reliable forms of telecommunication that allow communication through ASL. A 2012 report the Federal Communications Commission indicates that TTY usage is decreasing by about 10% per year, and has cut in half over the past seven years. The same report indicates that TTY relay calls are only 12% of the total relay volume, and that 75% of all accessible calls made in the U.S. are made via videophone. Meaningful family contact and consistent access to advocates and attorneys is paramount for deaf prisoners who customarily experience discrimination, severe isolation, and horrendous abuse in prison settings. Ironically, the expensive and inaccessible telephone systems that exist in prisons across the nation serve as extremely effective barriers to communication for most deaf prisoners. http://www.behearddc.org/images/pdf/deafinprison%20fact%20sheet%20.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please let us know if you have further questions and/or need additional resources.

Best,

Wyne Cler

Information Specialist/Librarian

NIC Information Center

https://nicic.gov

 

 

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Answered (Verified) Mike Cox replied on Mon, May 22 2017 12:00 PM
Verified by Chris Auen

We also have vendors in place for both Video Relay Services (VRS) and Video Relay Interpretering (VRI) services.  We have a stand alone video phone system and mobile tablets we utilize in our Intake, Medical and Confinement areas of the facility.

1. We dot not charge for the services.

2. There is no limit on the videophone calls (VRS/VRI)

3. More than one videophone call can be made by an impaired inmate, using multiple devices.

4. If requested by the attorney (Public/Defender or District/Commonwealth Attorney) they would be responsible for obtaining the transcript from the vendor.

5. We do have a staff member that is assigned to review the recordings, when requested to do so by investigators.

6. The systems we utilize does not allow for thrid party calling using the videophone system.

7. We have no other concerns regarding the systems.  We did involve our County ADA compliance officer in the process of implementing these translation services.

Hope this helps.

Mike

Top 200 Contributor
Level 2 MVP
Points 598

Mike,

Thanks for the response. It was helpful. I was wondering if you may be able to send me any information on the mobile tablets you mentioned. A website or company name would be great.

Thanks

Sergeant Chris Auen


Accreditation Manager


Detention Services Division


240-773-9746 (O)


Montgomery County, Maryland

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Thank for this!
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