William Pierce, deaf former inmate, sues Dept. of Corrections

WASHINGTON (AP) - A deaf former inmate in the District of Columbia is suing the Department of Corrections, saying he was mistreated while serving a 60-day sentence for assault.

William Pierce says in the federal lawsuit that he was held in solitary confinement, denied medical care and access to an interpreter and couldn't communicate through sign-language because of the way he was handcuffed.

Pierce, who says he's HIV-positive, also alleges that he couldn't take one of the medications prescribed for his illness.

Officials didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Pierce was sent early last year to serve his sentence at a private facility next to the D.C. jail. That facility is run by a for-profit company that has a contract with the District to house prisoners.