Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type


First Advisor

Gabriel Lomas

Second Advisor

Debra Guthmann

Third Advisor

Damara Paris


There is a paucity of research that explores the deaf experience within carceral settings, and a lack of large, rigorously designed studies that provide conclusive evidence of this phenomenon. Similarly, policy development regarding the abolition of, or reformations to, the corrections system in the United States rarely addresses the needs of deaf people within this system. A lack of understanding of the experiences of deaf individuals creates a barrier to the assurance that justice is provided equitably through effective, accessible services and facilities which carceral structures may be inherently unequipped to provide. Through semi-structured interviews, this preliminary study inquired formerly incarcerated deaf people about their experiences through interviews. The exploration of lived experiences in this research seeks to provide context to the belief that the carceral system is structurally unqualified to protect the nuanced needs of deaf people.



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