The Clark County Detention Center (CCDC) is the largest jail in Nevada, housing thousands of people every year. The ACLU of Nevada has been investigating the treatment of people who are deaf and detained at the Detention Center since April 2021. Based on our investigation, we have determined that the Clark County Detention Center regularly denies basic aids and services to deaf people, including sign language, interpreters, videophones, and visual aids. These services are denied for even the most important communication needs, such as classes meant to rehabilitate prisoners, medical appointments, religious services, and even fire alarms.
Failure to provide these services functionally places deaf people detained at CCDC in solitary confinement, unable to communicate with staff, other people who are detained, and anyone outside the facility. Based upon records we've received through public records requests, we know the Detention Center is aware it must offer these services but still fails to do so.
Mr. Jones, our client, is a deaf person who has spent over two years in CCDC. Again and again, he requested the services he is entitled to under federal law, and again and again, he was denied, rendering him unable to participate in group therapy, religious services, or other rehabilitative opportunities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the United States Constitution, and the Nevada Constitution, the Detention Center is obligated to comply and offer appropriate aids and services to deaf people detained at the facility. Together, we are working to make sure he nor any other person who is deaf and detained at jail is treated that way again
What we are seeking:
- Install videophones in its units. Videophones are the standard telecommunication technology used by the deaf community that has already been safely implemented in jails across the county.
- Offer ASL interpreters for medical appointments, religious services, disciplinary hearings, and other events.
- Properly train staff on how to work respectfull and appropriately with deaf people detained at the facility.
- Provide any other aids or services a deaf person might require to have an equivalent experience as a hearing person at the facility.
- Appropriate compensation for Mr. Jones for the discrimination he experienced while detained at the facility