FBSOTD: Communicating with non-English speaking inmates

DOCO jail officials use technology to communicate with inmates. / Jessica Fairley

If you've ever wanted to know how law enforcement communicates with non-English speaking inmates, that's the topic of our Facebook story of the day.

Dougherty County Jail officials say they use a three step process when there's a disconnect in communication.

The first step is determining what method of communication the inmate uses, whether it's sign language, Spanish, or French.

Then they try to find a translator.

There are two Spanish interpreters who work for the jail but when it comes to other languages, the county has to improvise through technology.

"We can go to Google and there is a translation service online. We can type in things like 'Please give us a family member's phone number' or something like that and there are about 40 different languages," said Dougherty County Jail Director Colonel John Ostrander.

He says if all else fails, they try to contact a family member to see if they can help.