Prisoner denied two hearing aids, ACLU lawsuit says


The ACLU of Ohio filed a federal lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction over the state's refusal to issue two hearing aids to an inmate who is hard-of-hearing. Ohio DRC officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The suit alleges that the state policy of providing only one hearing aid, even for prisoners who have a medical need for two, is unconstitutional and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Using a one-size-fits-all policy that arbitrarily denies needed medical care to individuals in state custody is in clear violation of the ADA,” said Freda Levenson, legal director of the ACLU of Ohio, in a written release. “Federal law requires that prisons care for individuals’ medical needs on a case-by-case basis, and the state has a responsibility to ensure that all people housed in prisons are treated humanely.”

Inmate James Handwork is serving a 15-year sentence for murder at Lake Erie Correctional Institution, a privately owned and operated prison that houses state prisoners. His two hearing aids are outdated, the suit says.

In late 2011, Ohio became the first state in the country to sell a government-owned prison to a private company. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio opposes privatization of incarceration duties.

Corrections Corporation of America, which bought the Conneaut facility for $72.7 million, has a state contract to house and provide medical care for Ohio inmates.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio Politics

Ohio Libertarians say they may sue to keep ballot access
Ohio Libertarians say they may sue to keep ballot access

The Libertarian Party of Ohio says it may sue the state to force continued recognition of the minor political party. Secretary of State Jon Husted says the Libertarians and Ohio Green Party lost ballot access because their respective candidates did not get 3 percent of the vote needed to remain a recognized party. Cleveland.com reports the Libertarian...
Pike County murders: Tight-knit community expresses relief over arrests
Pike County murders: Tight-knit community expresses relief over arrests

A husband, wife and their two sons are behind bars Tuesday night, indicted in a mass murder, along with two grandmothers accused of helping them cover up the crimes. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Ohio Attorney General and Gov.-elect Mike DeWine announced the arrests and indictments of parents Billy and Angela Wagner and their sons George...
Against odds, local Congressman Jim Jordan seeking GOP leadership post
Against odds, local Congressman Jim Jordan seeking GOP leadership post

After years of bucking Republican Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan on everything from health care to approving spending bills to keep the federal government open, local Congressman Jim Jordan has launched a bid to become leader of the House Republicans. On Wednesday, in a private meeting of House Republicans, Jordan will face Rep. Kevin McCarthy...
California wildfires: Area volunteers to assist with recovery

A team of five Red Cross volunteers from the Dayton-Cincinnati region has left for California to assist with the wildfires recovery, officials said Tuesday.  Five volunteers may seem like a small group, given the magnitude of the wildfires, but it’s significant in Red Cross terms, said Marita Salkowski, regional communications...
Trial begins this week for Dayton man accused of being ISIS recruit
Trial begins this week for Dayton man accused of being ISIS recruit

More than 18 months after he was arrested at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, the Dayton man who allegedly called himself a “perfect ISIS recruit” is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court. Laith Alebbini, 28, faces one count of knowingly attempting “to provide material support and...
More Stories