CALL TO ACTION: Disability rights violation at MCI-Concord

Updated 4/8/23

Despite a month-long call-in for Michael at MCI-Concord by family, friends, and community members, he was denied his rightful accommodation to a CapTel phone that displays captions during a phone call – even with updated medical documentation and a recommendation for hearing aids by doctors at Shattuck Hospital. This corrupt behavior by the DOC violates national ADA standards, the Briggs v. MA DOC Settlement, and this 2022 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order expanding communications access to incarcerated people with disabilities. While Michael’s situation is devastating, it is not unique; we are receiving reports of CapTel accommodations being removed from men over at MCI-Norfolk, too. To make matters worse, lawyers and family members have sent the DOC non-compliance letters that went completely ignored. 

For these reasons, we are reorganizing this call-in to target legislators, with the additional option to send an email.

We know that the DOC needs to cancel Wellpath’s contract. Until then, help demand that they provide Michael and others with the rightful accommodation to allow them communication with loved ones which, according to ADA standards, is an “activit[y] that [is] of central importance to most people’s daily lives.” 


CALL SCRIPT:

Call the district office of Ayanna Pressley: (617) 850-0040
Call the Boston office of Elizabeth Warren: (617) 565-3170

If your call isn’t picked up, leave a message with the script below.

“Hello, my name is [X] and I am a concerned community member calling on behalf of Michael Moscaritolo at MCI-Concord, W113890. For over three months now, Michael has been requesting re-access to a CapTel phone, an accommodation that he was formerly granted for the past year and a half. Shortly after a federal monitor verified the DOC’s compliance to the provisions in the Briggs Settlement, the requirements for accessing the CapTel telephone were arbitrarily changed, causing Michael and many others in Massachusetts prisons to lose access to their accommodation. This is not in alignment with ADA standards, violates the Briggs settlement, and deviates from FCC practice – all of which affirms a person’s right to an accommodation that facilitates effective communication and therefore enables them to live fully. 

To remedy this, I am requesting that you contact the MA DOC and demand compliance to the Briggs Settlement, so that Michael and others have rightful access to a CapTel phone.

Will you confirm your effort to ensure DOC compliance, or contact the primary advocate on this case at sav.cadiz@gmail.com to discuss this matter further?”

EMAIL:

Send to: ayanna.pressley@mail.house.gov, jon_donenberg@warren.senate.gov, sarah.groh@mail.house.gov, demarquin.johnson@mail.house.gov, beth_pearson@warren.senate.gov, Marielle_Rabins@warren.senate.gov, Harleen_Gambhir@warren.senate.gov, jon_donenberg@warren.senate.gov

Subject: *URGENT: DOC Violation of Briggs Settlement

Dear Massachusetts legislators and team,

I am writing as a concerned community member to inform you of an issue affecting one of the most vulnerable populations we have: incarcerated people across MA prisons who are hard of hearing are losing their accommodation to effectively communicate with loved ones. 

Despite a month-long call-in for Michael at MCI-Concord by family, friends, and fellow constituents, he was denied his rightful accommodation to a CapTel phone – even with updated medical documentation and a recommendation for hearing aids by doctors at Shattuck Hospital. This corrupt behavior by the DOC violates national ADA standards, the Briggs v. MA DOC Settlement, and this 2022 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order expanding communications access to incarcerated people with disabilities. While Michael’s situation is devastating, it is not unique; we are receiving reports of CapTel accommodations being removed from men over at MCI-Norfolk, too. To make matters worse, lawyers and family members have sent the DOC non-compliance letters that went completely ignored. 

To remedy this, I am requesting that you contact the MA DOC and demand compliance to the Briggs Settlement, so that Michael and others have rightful access to a CapTel phone.

Will you confirm your effort to ensure DOC compliance, or contact the primary advocate on this case at sav.cadiz@gmail.com to discuss this matter further?

Sincerely,

[your name]