In March, the ACLU testified before the House and Senate Judiciary committees in support of legislation to strengthen the state’s limitation on shackling pregnant incarcerated women. The physical restraint of pregnant inmates during transport, labor, delivery and recovery is viewed as a major human rights and civil rights concern, within the United States and internationally. A restrained pregnant woman cannot move freely or control her balance, placing both her and her fetus at risk. Thanks to ACLU-proposed legislation enacted in 2011, Rhode Island law generally prohibits the shackling of pregnant women during transport to a medical facility, labor, delivery or postpartum recovery, recent review of the law revealed some gaps that may leave pregnant prisoners vulnerable. This legislation would expand the law to prohibit shackling during transport to or from a court proceeding during a pregnant inmate’s third trimester, when their mobility and balance are significantly limited. The bill did not receive a committee vote, and died. Read the facts about the bill here.


Representative Shelby Maldonado and Senator Erin Lynch Prata





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