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Ohio prisons department settles inmate hearing aids lawsuit

CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s prisons department is settling a lawsuit brought by a hearing-impaired convicted killer who said officials wouldn’t give him two functional hearing aids.

The suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union argued the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s statewide policy of providing only one hearing aid to inmates was unconstitutional and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cleveland.com reports (http://bit.ly/2swk1lC ) the department will clarify its policy to require that inmates receive two hearing aids if a doctor deems it necessary. It also will pay the ACLU $22,000 to cover legal fees.

A corrections department spokeswoman declined to comment.

The suit was brought on behalf of James Handwork, an inmate at a private prison in Conneaut (KAW’-nee-awt) for a 2002 murder. He received new hearing aids in April.

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Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com

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