Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And Clackamas County Oregon Sheriff's Office

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-61-160

1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the United States Department of Justice ("United States") against Clackamas County Oregon Sheriff's Office ("the Sheriff's Office”). The complaint alleged that the Sheriff's Office violated title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and the Department's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, by denying effective communication for a qualified individual with disabilities, denying an equal opportunity to participate in or benefit from the services, programs, or activities of the Sheriff's Office, or otherwise subjecting the individual to discrimination by the Sheriff's Office.

2. The Department of Justice is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate the allegations of the complaint in this matter, to determine the Sheriff's Office's compliance with title II and the Department’s implementing Title II regulation, issue findings, and, where appropriate, negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing Title II of the ADA should the Department of Justice fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.

3. The Complaint alleged that the Sheriff's Office failed to take appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with the complainant during his incarceration, thus denying her the opportunity to effectively participate in or benefit from the Sheriff's Office’s programs, activities, and services in a manner equal to that provided to others without disabilities. Allegedly, the Sheriff's Office told him that it had no funds to provide interpreting services.

4. The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and Clackamas County Oregon Sheriff's Office. In order to secure compliance by voluntary means, the parties hereby agree as follows:

5. By signing this Agreement, the Sheriff's Office does not admit that its current services, policies, and practices are in violation in any respect with the ADA or its implementing regulation.

6. The ADA applies to the Sheriff's Office because it is a public entity as defined in Title II of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12131 and 28 C.F.R. § 35.104.
Appropriate Auxiliary Aids and Services

7. The Sheriff's Office shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary
to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, the Sheriff's Office's services, programs, and activities. In determining what type of auxiliary aid and service is necessary, the Sheriff's Office shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with a disability. “Primary consideration” means that the Sheriff's Office must honor the choice expressed by the individual with a disability unless it can demonstrate that another equally effective means of communication is available, there would be a fundamental alteration in the service, program, or activity, or the use of the means chosen would result in undue financial and administrative burdens.

Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TTY)

8. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Sheriff's Office will
have at least two one TTY available on site at every County correctional facility.

9. The Sheriff's Office shall make TTY’s available to inmates with hearing or speech
impairments, as well as to hearing inmates to communicate with individuals who have hearing or speech impairments. The Sheriff's Office shall make TTY’s and telephones available upon request to the same extent telephones are made available to other inmates. After an inmate has requested to use a TTY, Sheriff's Office staff shall promptly provide it.

10. A TTY shall be made available for use by inmates with hearing or speech impairments, as
well as to hearing inmates to communicate with individuals who have hearing or speech impairments, in all inmate areas where telephones are available for inmate use, such as in housing units, day rooms, infirmaries, and health services units. The Sheriff's Office will provide electrical outlets, as necessary, to provide inmates with hearing or speech impairments equal access to TTY’s and telephones as other inmates have to telephones.

11. In recognition of the fact that telephone calls placed using a TTY take three to five times
longer than telephone calls placed using standard voice telephone equipment, the Sheriff's Office will allow inmates using a TTY at least three times the length of time permitted for voice communication where the Sheriff's Office imposes time limitations on inmates using the telephone. A written policy permitting TTY users extra time will be developed and implemented within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement. The Sheriff's Office will ensure that telephones that are set to cut off after a certain amount of time are reprogrammed to permit TTY callers the requisite extra time.

12. Where telephones are available to the public, a TTY shall be made available to visitors
upon request. Signage will be displayed at all public telephones indicating the availability of the TTY and the procedure for obtaining it.

13. In noncontact visiting areas and televisiting areas where visitors and inmates
communicate by telephone, the Sheriff's Office will make TTY’s available to both visitors and inmates during the visit upon request. The Sheriff's Office will provide electrical outlets for this purpose as necessary.

14. The Sheriff's Office will maintain TTY’s in working order and ensure that inmates with
hearing or speech impairments are able to make TTY calls. Each correctional institution and correctional center will test its TTY’s on a regular basis and no less than every three months. TTY testing shall occur, at a minimum, wherever inmates with hearing or speech impairments are housed. Technical difficulties shall be referred to the ADA Coordinator (see Paragraph 33, below) and shall be promptly resolved. The ADA Coordinator shall keep records, subject to the Department’s review, of the facility’s TTY testing dates, all technical difficulties or inmate complaints, and resolutions.

Telephones

15. Within one hundred-eighty (180) days of the effective date of this Agreement, at every
correctional facility, the Sheriff's Office will have at least one telephone with volume control in each inmate housing area where there are telephones for inmate use and wherever telephones are available to the public.

Relay Service

16. The Sheriff's Office shall take the steps necessary to provide inmates and visitors toll-free
access to either 7-1-1 or “1-800” numbers for the purpose of calling telephone relay services. Each correctional institution and correctional center will test access to telephone relay services on a regular basis and no less than every three months. Testing shall occur, at a minimum, wherever inmates with hearing or speech impairments are housed. Technical difficulties shall be referred to the ADA Coordinator and shall be promptly resolved. The ADA Coordinator shall keep records, subject to the Department’s review, of the facility’s testing dates, all technical difficulties or inmate complaints, and resolutions.

17. In recognition of the fact that members of the public who have speech or hearing
impairments may call the Sheriff's Office using telephone relay services, the Sheriff's Office agrees to instruct its employees to accept telephone calls from the relay service.

Sign Language Interpreters

18. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term “qualified sign language interpreter” means
a person who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary. Someone, including a Sheriff's Office employee, who has only a rudimentary familiarity with sign language or finger spelling is not a qualified interpreter. Likewise, someone who is proficient in sign language, but who does not possess the ability to process spoken communication into the proper signs or to translate an individual’s signed or finger spelled communication into spoken words, is not a qualified sign language interpreter. A Sheriff's Office employee may not act as an interpreter if his or her presence poses a conflict of interest or raises confidentiality and/or privacy concerns, except in cases of emergency (e.g., to assist in communicating with a suicidal inmate while waiting for a qualified interpreter to arrive). However, the Sheriff's Office may hire interpreters and/or use Sheriff's Office employees as interpreters if they are qualified (as defined above) and there are no conflicts of interest, confidentiality or privacy concerns. Occasionally, an inmate may possess the skill level necessary to provide interpreting services; however, due to confidentiality, privacy, and security concerns, inmates shall not be used as sign language interpreters except in cases of emergency or when an inmate with a hearing or speech impairment specifically requests that a particular inmate be allowed to interpret for him/her. Similarly, the Sheriff's Office may never require or coerce an inmate’s family member, advocate, or friend to be used as a sign language interpreter except in cases of emergency or when an inmate with a hearing or speech impairment specifically requests that the family member, advocate, or friend be allowed to interpret for him/her.

19. The Sheriff's Office will provide, upon request, qualified sign language interpreters for
inmates with hearing or speech impairments for the following situations: initial intake/assessment and evaluation; all orientations; all disciplinary hearings or meetings; all programs or group sessions that are offered and for which successful completion may expedite release or parole; all parole hearings; all educational classes, including vocational or job training; all religious services; and all scheduled appointments, meetings, group and individual sessions with doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, or mental health professionals. For on-going, regularly scheduled events, such as religious services, the Sheriff's Office agrees to provide interpreters for the entire event and on a regular basis. For unscheduled matters, the Sheriff's Office will use its best efforts to provide a qualified sign language interpreter in all situations and without exception when given at least 48 hours notice of the need for an interpreter.

20. The Sheriff's Office shall establish contracts for interpreter services, or the Sheriff's
Office shall provide other equally effective means to ensure that qualified interpreters are available when required, without delay.

21. In order to allow inmates who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with others, the
Sheriff's Office will not prohibit inmates who are not deaf or hard of hearing from learning and/or using sign language.

22. Subject to safety and security concerns, the Sheriff's Office will permit inmates with
hearing or speech impairments to have access to a writing utensil and paper in order to allow them to communicate with others.

Alarm Clocks

23. The Sheriff's Office will ensure that inmates who are deaf or hard of hearing are
permitted to buy and use flashing or vibrating alarm clocks to the same extent that other inmates are permitted to buy and use alarm clocks.

Closed Captioning

24. With the exception of personal television sets located in inmates’ cells, within 180 days
of the effective date of this Agreement, the Sheriff's Office will survey all television sets viewed by inmates or visitors to ensure that they are capable of closed captioning and replace those television sets that are not capable of closed captioning with sets that are capable of closed captioning in order to enable inmates and visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing to enjoy the same opportunity for television viewing as that afforded others.

25. With the exception of personal television sets located in inmates’ cells, within one
hundred-eighty (180) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Sheriff's Office will adopt and implement a policy that requires closed captioning to appear on all television sets when requested by an inmate with a hearing impairment.

26. Within one hundred-eighty (180) days of the effective date of this Agreement, all
new videotapes shown by the Sheriff's Office, such as orientation videotapes or movies, will be captioned, and current non-captioned videotapes will be interpreted.

27. The Sheriff's Office will ensure that inmates who are deaf or hard of hearing are
permitted to buy and use television sets that have closed captioning to the same extent other inmates are permitted to buy and use television sets.

Hearing Aids and Batteries

28. The Sheriff's Office shall purchase and keep appropriate types of hearing aid batteries in
stock in the facility’s health services unit during the length of time an inmate(s) who wears a hearing aid is in its custody. The Sheriff's Office shall provide replacement hearing aid batteries to inmates requesting them as soon as possible, but in no event later than 24 hours after such request.

29. Upon request to repair a hearing aid, the Sheriff's Office shall send inmate hearing aids to
a hearing aid repair company as soon as possible, but in no event later than 24 hours after such request. The Sheriff's Office shall inform the inmate as soon as possible when his or her hearing aid was sent for repair and when it is expected to be returned by the repair company.

Announcements/Intercom

30. The Sheriff's Office will effectively communicate all information that is announced over
a public address system or intercom for inmates and visitors with hearing and/or speech impairments. An inmate who is deaf or hard of hearing and who does not hear an announcement shall not be penalized in any way because of his or her disability.

31. In facilities where inmates have access to an intercom in their cells, the Sheriff's Office
shall ensure that Sheriff's Office staff respond to inmates with hearing or speech impairments in a manner equivalent to other inmates (e.g., by going to the cell to check on the inmate).

ADA Coordinator

32. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Sheriff's Office shall designate a person to serve as the Sheriff's Office contact person for the resolution of all existing and future complaints regarding ADA accessibility filed with the Department.

33. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Sheriff's Office will
designate at least one responsible employee at the facility as the ADA Coordinator to handle all questions, concerns, or complaints regarding accessibility from inmates or visitors with disabilities. The Sheriff's Office will forward the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the designated ADA Coordinators to the Department within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement.

34. The ADA Coordinator will attend at least one conference or training per calendar year
addressing ADA compliance and accessibility issues.

35. Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the ADA Coordinator
will be trained in how to use a TTY.

36. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the
Department believes that the Sheriff's Office has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a modification of the relevant terms, the Department will so notify the Sheriff's Office in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within twenty-first (21) days of the date it provides written notice to the Sheriff's Office, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement, or it may initiate appropriate steps to enforce title II and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

For example, in facilities where an announcement is made that it is time for count, an inmate who is deaf and, as a result, does not hear the announcement, shall not receive a conduct report for missing count. Similarly, in facilities where an announcement is made that it is time for medications to be distributed, an inmate with a hearing impairment who did not hear the announcement shall not be denied medication. In facilities where an announcement is made that an inmate has a visitor, the Sheriff's Office shall ensure that inmates with hearing impairments are notified when they have a visitor.

37. For purposes of the immediately preceding paragraph, it is a violation of this Agreement
for the Sheriff's Office to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for an extension of the relevant time frame imposed by the Agreement.

38. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with
regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

39. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised
herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the Sheriff's Office continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

40. This Agreement will remain in effect for three (3) years from the effective date of this
Agreement.

41. The person signing for the Sheriff's Office represents that he or she is authorized to bind
the Sheriff's Office to this Agreement.

42. This Settlement Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties relating
to Department of Justice No. 204-61-160 and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party, that is not contained in this written Settlement Agreement, including its attachments, shall be enforceable.

43. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.


For Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

By:_________________________
PAT DETLOFF, Sheriff
2223 S. Kaen Rd. Oregon City, OR 97045
503-655-8218

Date: , 2004


For the United States:

R. ALEXANDER COSTA, Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights


By:_____________________________
JOHN WODATCH, Chief
RENEE L. WOHLENHAUS, Deputy Chief
ROBERT J. MATHER, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
NYA Building
Washington, DC 20530
(202)307-2236

Date: , 2004


>
Updated August 6, 2015

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No