The Vermont Department of Corrections agreed to make structural changes to its prison buildings as part of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to ensure inmates with disabilities have equal access to the facilities, the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced on Thursday.

The DOJ initiated an investigation after receiving complaints from inmates at the Southern State Correctional Facility alleging that VDOC failed to provide facilities that are accessible to inmates with mobility disabilities. Complaints from inmates at Chittenden Regional Correctional facility also claimed inmates with hearing disabilities weren’t provided tools for effective communication, denying them educational, vocational and religious programming.

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