Friday, 3 December 2010


Working Title
Can you sign me?
•Improving the design of the criminal justice system to adapt to deaf people

Having researched into the development if deaf children into adults there is a strong sense of isolation that can be seen forming a barrier around them and that of the hearing world. Some feeling increasingly frustrated and alone that they develop behaviour issues and difficulties from an early age, including that of a violent nature. With this in mind, I took the situation to its extreme and researched into the life of a deaf prisoner and the discrimination issues they may be left to face. Even the simplest of tasks would require a huge amount of effort and difficulties, a quick phone call would need either a translator of video call system that may not always be readily available for prisoners, general announcements and fire alarms could be missed due to their disabilities. I think to get a full understanding of deaf peoples imprisonment I will have to firstly look into the schooling of them and to see if there is early discrimination and isolation towards them which may have caused some form of behaviour issues and then move on to the criminal justice system and jails.

My overall ain is to help improve the lives if deaf people in prisons, may this be by setting up an easier system in the mainstream prisons for them to feel more included, vocal announcements being able to reach them or alert them better or improvement with overall communication throughout. This could potentially benefit a wide range of people connected to the criminal justice system: the prisoner, prison officers, the prisoners family and friends etc. although this subject of concern doesn’t relate to my discipline currently, hopefully I will be able to connect and benefit myself from this study aswell.

•Interviews with deaf children and parents
•Interviews with teachers of the deaf
•Collection of deaf peoples social experiences growing up in the hearing world
•Collection of deaf prisoners experiences whilst in prison
•Discussions with other designers whom have related to prisons and/or disabilities
•Discussion with a therapist / physiatrist whom has dealt with deaf children / adults

Annotated Bibliography

Barrow, L M, (2008) Criminal victimization of the deaf, LFB Scholarly Publisher, New York
Looking into the social discrimination toward deaf people in our society is the main issue that is being tackled in this book. Using various methods of research this book looks into deaf persons as victims in our hearing and often isolating world for them.

Corker M, (1999) Deaf and Disabled or Deafness Disabled
Written by a deaf person this book gives us the chance to understand the true social isolation, she tries to expose the existing social, political and service frameworks. This helps with the understanding of deafness and disability in the social environment.

Corker, M (1994) Counseling-The Deaf Challenge, London: J. Kingsley Publishers
This book provided an important discussion in the way that deaf people are being looked at and understood. Looks into how the deaf identity is constructed and challenging the assumptions that hearing people have of them. It includes case studies and a first hand insight into the world of deafness.

Glickman, N. S (2008) Cognitive-behavioral therapy for deaf and hearing persons with language and learning challenges, New York, NY: Routledge
Looks into the language and learning challenges in the deaf psychiatric population. Research has been carried out into deaf persons with severe language deprivation and learning challenges.

Miles D, (1988) Foreword to British Sign Language: Beginner’s Guide, BBC Books
This book will give me the chance to be able to learn a bit of sign language before I go to any schools for the deaf. I think this will be important in my study, as I will be able to sign to the student without having to rely on any interpreters.

Miller K, (2001) Access to sign language Interpreters in the Criminal Justice System. American Annals of the Deaf, v146 n4 p328-30
This study carried out research into the criminal justice settings and looked into various cases that may have had access issues for offenders with hearing difficulties / were deaf. It also looks into the training of a sign language interpreter and developing training programs.

Miller KR, Vernon M, Capella ME (2005) Violent Offenders in a Deaf Prison Population, Winston-Salem State University.
In this article research into the patterns of deaf offenders and hearing offenders has taken place. This study has been carried out in a Texas state prison and gives the statistics between the two and shows that there is an unexplained higher percentage in deaf offenders being incarcerated due to violent crimes compared to hearing offenders. It also looks into the lack of facilities available for deaf offenders.

Philibert, N (2005) In the Deaf Land, Les Films D’ici
This documentary explores the lives of deaf people who live in France. Studying the debate of “curing” deafness. Looking mainly into two female characters, one a sign language teacher and the other woman being misdiagnosed and being treated as mentally ill.
In Hilary Cottams section of this website it refers to her study of design in a public sector and how we can use this in a more appropriate way it would be able to “tackle some of the more intractable social problems of our day”. Her design for prison was aimed to keep prisoners from being released and then re-offending, which I think would become relevant into my subject.
In this website Tom Levitt researches into the statistics of people in this country that have hard hearing or are deaf. He debates into the criminal justice system and some of their loops that have been created to improve the use of hearing aids when in court. Levittt also looks into individual cases of discrimination in the courthouse toward deaf people who are up on trial. He also researches into everyday life of a deaf person, which would be interesting to have an in-sight into.
This website contains a article that looks into what the deaf are left to face when they put into the criminal justice system. The article looks at a report that was originally written for ‘The Crime Report’ in the New York. Although it is not in this country I still feel that it is relevant to look into the issues that similar countries may be facing when looking into deaf offenders.
In this website it gives an in-sight into young offenders with disabilities and carries out some primary research concerning the matter. It gives the stats that “23% of young offenders have very low IQs of less than 70, and 25% have special educational needs – a far higher proportion than in the general population.” It is relevant to my subject, as it will give me some secondary research to look in to and give me an idea of the percentage of young offenders with disabilities.
This website is one of the biggest in relation to giving advice and information about deaf people. It allows hard hearing and deaf people to understand what services are out there for them and what their rights are.

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