Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services


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TITLE: Interpretation Services


When an offender is unable to understand their probation/parole conditions due to a language barrier, hearing impairment or deafness, sight impairment or blindness, inability to read or any other disability, the District shall provide an interpreter or needed resources to assist in the removal of the barrier in order to effectuate offender supervision.


  1. When meeting with an offender that requires assistance in communicating with the supervising officer due to a language barrier, the supervising officer shall seek the aid of an interpreter/signer.
  2. With supervisory approval, District employees who are signers or certified interpreters, may be utilized as signers and/or interpreters on a volunteer basis.
  3. The supervising officer may seek assistance from the offender's family or friends to assist them in communicating with the offender, if deemed productive by the supervising officer.
  4. The offender may provide his/her own interpreter/signer at no cost to the District at routine meetings with the supervising officer, if deemed productive by the supervising officer.
  5. The hearing impaired offender may utilize the State of Iowa's Relay Services for the hearing impaired. Offenders who have a hearing impairment and have a phone for that purpose can call 1-800-735-2943 and communicate with an operator who will call the desired party and act as an interpreter. The service is provided by the state at no charge to the offender.
  6. Interpretation/translation services for non-English speaking or limited English speaking offenders can be purchased through the Department of the Human Services, Bureau of Refugee Services. The telephone number is 283-7922.
  7. First Call For Help is another resource that may be utilized in locating interpreters for specific languages or disabilities.
  8. For Spanish Speaking interpretation/translation services, the supervising officer may contact Latino Affairs at 281-4080.
  9. When free interpreting service to the District is not available, interpreting services may be purchased.
    1. The Assistant Director of Field Services must approve the purchase of interpreting services.
    2. Contractual or other formal written agreements shall be established for persons who are to be paid for interpreting services, prior to their use.
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