|Action||Amend Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups to add requirements on restraint of pregnant offenders|
|Comment Period||Ends 9/27/2013|
Limiting restraints on pregnant inmates is good policy
To Whom It May Concern:
I applaud the state Board of Corrections having approved the proposed legislation that would limit the use of restraints on pregnant inmates, and am thankful that they are implementing a common-sense and compassionate policy. I also urge the Board to make these regulations final when they vote again at the end of the public-comment period.
I urge the Board to also include a robust reporting requirement in these regulations to ensure accountability for -- and compliance with -- these regulations. As of now, these proposed regulations have no such requirements that would provide meaningful oversight.
Restraining a pregnant woman can pose many undue threats both to the woman and her unborn child, particularly during labor, delivery, and post-partum recovery. In fact, the vast majority of pregnant inmates are non-violent offenders who pose a negligible security risk, particularly during labor and post-partum recovery. The states that have outlawed restraints on pregnant inmates have no documented instances of a woman in labor or delivery escaping or causing harm to themselves or others.
Furthermore, the consensus among national correctional and medical associations -- including the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshal Service, the American Correctional Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolgists and the American Medical Associaiton -- is to oppose restraining pregnant inmates because it is unnecessary and harmful to a woman and her unborn child.
Again, for the sake decency I urge you to pass this legislation with an added requirement for strong public reporting on how these regulations are enforced. Thank you.