Information on Health Services
I am helping a jail get ready for its accreditation survey. I am told that there is not really a Spanish-speaking population in this community. In that case, do they still need to have the inmate orientation information in Spanish as well as English?
Standard J-E-01 Information on Health Services does not state that inmate orientation information must be written in Spanish. The third compliance indicator says, “Special procedures ensure that inmates who have difficulty communicating (e.g., foreign speaking, developmentally disabled, illiterate, mentally ill, deaf) understand how to access health services.” Therefore, if there isn’t a community need to pre-print information in Spanish (or other foreign language), at least there should be a procedure in place so that appropriate efforts are made to ensure that inmates understand how they can access health services. For example, a language line or local translator might be available in the event a Spanish-speaking inmate arrives. Keep in mind that if the bulk of your population speaks only Swahili, then you should accommodate these inmates.
— From CorrectCare Volume 25, Issue 4, Fall 2011