AP NEWS

Maryland settles federal lawsuit by blind inmates for $1.4M

June 5, 2019

BALTIMORE (AP) — The state of Maryland has settled for $1.4 million a federal lawsuit filed by blind current and former inmates alleging discrimination.

The National Federation of the Blind on Wednesday said the state has also agreed to change prison procedures and provide assistive technology.

The lawsuit filed in 2016 alleged the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services denied blind inmates access to prison jobs, kept them longer behind bars and put them in danger because of their disabilities.

The plaintiffs alleged the conditions forced them to rely on other inmates for various activities, including using the prison library and reading mail.

The state agreed to install computers with text-to-speech technology, ensure access to people who can read and write documents on the inmates’ behalf and offer them skills training.

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