Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Corrections
State Board of Local and Regional Jails
Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups [6 VAC 15 ‑ 40]
Action Amend Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups to add requirements on restraint of pregnant offenders
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 9/27/2013
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8/5/13  12:25 pm
Commenter: Carol Hurst

Stop use of restraints for pregnant inmates during labor and delivery
  • I support the Board of Corrections’ approval of proposed regulations limiting the use of restraints on pregnant inmates. I thank the Board for implementing a more compassionate and commonsense policy, and urge the Board to make these proposed regulations final.
  • I also encourage the Board of Corrections to include a strong public reporting requirement in the regulations to ensure accountability for and compliance with the regulations.
  • Restraining pregnant women is definitely  dangerous and inhumane.  It is obvious to me as a woman that restraints during labor and postpartum recovery could interfere with appropriate medical care and could be detrimental to the health of the woman and her newborn child.
  • Freedom from physical restraints is especially critical during labor, delivery, and during postpartum recovery.  Women often need to move around during labor and recovery, including moving their legs as part of the birthing process.  Restraints on a pregnant woman can interfere with the medical staff’s ability to appropriately assist in childbirth or to conduct emergency procedures. Following birth, it is critical for a woman to remain unrestrained to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Freedom from restraints after delivery also fosters postpartum bonding between a mother and her newborn, which is essential to the healthy development of the child.
  • The vast majority of female prisoners are non-violent offenders who pose a low security risk—particularly during labor and postpartum recovery.  In the states that have outlawed restraint of pregnant inmates, there have been no documented instances of a woman in labor or delivery escaping or causing harm to themselves, security guards, or medical staff.
CommentID: 28746