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Michaelee Owen lawsuit prompts big changes in Pueblo's treatment of deaf prisoners

During the seven months Michaelee Owen (seen here) spent in Pueblo County Jail back in 2012, he was never provided with either a sign-language interpreter or a device that would have allowed him to communicate with anyone -- even his own mother. That won't be the case for future inmates, though. A settlement in a lawsuit filed by Owen calls for Pueblo authorities to change the way deaf prisoners are treated. And it's not the first time Owen has been part of a suit defending the rights of deaf individuals who run afoul of the law.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts