Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry
On July 19, 2023, the Justice Department sent a letter to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR), notifying ADCRR that it violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against individuals with vision disabilities. Following an investigation of multiple complaints by incarcerated individuals, the Department found that ADCRR failed to reasonably modify its policies or provide auxiliary aids and services, such as Brailled materials, audio recordings, and screen reader software, to ensure that people with disabilities could communicate effectively while incarcerated. ADCRR failed to provide accessible processes for requesting accommodations or filing disability-related complaints. ADCRR also over relied on other incarcerated people to help people with vision disabilities without properly training or supervising those providing help.
On November 16, 2023, the Justice Department executed a settlement agreement with ADCRR to correct and prevent discrimination against incarcerated people with vision disabilities and to resolve the Justice Department's findings. Under the three-year agreement, ADCRR will retain an expert consultant to help revise its policies and practices, train its personnel, and provide necessary modifications, aids and services, and assistive technology to people with vision disabilities in ADCRR custody. ADCRR will regularly report to the department and adopt robust screening and documentation procedures to ensure people with vision disabilities are provided with any aids and services they need throughout their incarceration. ADCRR will also designate a systemwide ADA Administrator and Facility ADA Coordinators to ensure consistent implementation of the agreement across all state facilities.