Florida state senator introduces bill to stop the shackling of incarcerated pregnant women
State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, filed legislation yesterday that would restrict the use of restraints on incarcerated women who are pregnant, in labor or postpartum.
Senate Bill 524, the “Healthy Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act,” would prohibit the “use of restraints on a prisoner known to be pregnant during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery unless a corrections official determines that the prisoner presents an extraordinary circumstance.”
According the the bill’s summary, it would also:
Require that a corrections officer or other official accompanying a prisoner remove all restraints if the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional treating the prisoner requests that restraints not be used; require that the corrections official make written findings within 10 days as to the extraordinary circumstance that dictated the use of restraints; require that the Secretary of Corrections, the Secretary of Juvenile Justice, and county and municipal corrections officials annually file written reports with the Executive Office of the Governor detailing each incident of restraint in violation of law or as an authorized exception, etc.
State Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, has already said she is prepared to reintroduce this legislation in the state House. Reed sponsored the legislation last session.