Access Denied

Access Denied: Conditions for People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities in Washington's County Jails

January 2017

This report is one in a series of reports intended to support an informed dialogue about how Washingtonians with disabilities are treated in county jails. It is produced by DRW's Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID) Jail Project. Visit the AVID Jail Project page for more information.

This report explains the types of physical barriers and accessiblity issues experienced by inmates with disabilities in Washington's county jails, and makes recommendations for change.

On any given day, Washington jails serve approximately 12,000 people. National figures indicate that the rate of disability in jail is over four times higher than in the community at large.

People with disabilities other than mental illness make up 40 percent of our country’s jail population. Within this group are individuals with a variety of physical and sensory disabilities, including 9.5 percent of jail inmates with a disability affecting mobility, 7.3 percent with a vision disability, 6.5 percent with a hearing disability, 2.8 percent having a disability making it difficult to dress or bathe, and another 8.7 percent with some other disability that limits the ability to live independently.

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