Wheelchairs in prison
6:56 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Motorized wheelchairs to be allowed in Mo. prisons

Two lawsuits involving the use of motorized wheelchairs in Missouri prisons have been settled.

Jeffrey Rogers and Andrew Madden are inmates at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.  They had filed suit because state Department of Corrections policy only allowed use of manual wheelchairs, and other inmates were assigned to push them around.  Tony Rothert is with the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.

“We brought (a) claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying that they needed motorized wheelchairs to be able to independently access the programs that are made available within the prison," Rothert said.

Rothert added, though, that the state won’t be required to furnish motorized wheelchairs to inmates.  Rogers’ and Madden’s families will be providing theirs to them.

The Missouri Department of Corrections was unavailable for comment.