DeafCAN! has been coordinating weekly literacy and decision-making classes at maximum security Phoenix CSI (Graterford State Prison) for the last 13 years with our advocacy roots extending back to 1997. Phoenix CSI has been designated as the State prison in the Eastern part of PA to house Deaf inmates. We look to find D/HOH inmates wherever they are and advocate for them to have the same rights and access (interpreting) to programs and services as other inmates, a situation many (most) prisons still today do not have.
We have sent a communication access model of accommodations to multiple correctional facilities and engaged at various levels of discussion with the PA Dept of Corrections, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, State Hospital’s forensics unit and County Prisons with a goal of demonstrating improved access for the Deaf at all levels of incarceration.
DeafCAN! provides the only dedicated service in all of Pennsylvania to Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals in the criminal justice system.