ACLU urges governor to sign bill de-shackling pregnant inmates

Mar 27, 2012

A bill that would prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant prison inmates during and after childbirth is making its way to Governor Rick Scott. As Sascha Cordner reports, one labor group is urging the Governor to “end cruelty against pregnant prisoners” by signing the bill into law.

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida Spokesman Baylor Johnson says the practice of “shackling” women during and after childbirth in Florida jails and prisons is unacceptable:

“You don’t lose your right to your dignity and your safety just because you happen to be incarcerated. Women during childbirth do not need to be shackled and restrained. But, with a stroke of his pen, Governor Rick Scott could change all that by signing the Healthy Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act into law.”

The ACLU helped to craft Senate bill 524 with Democratic Representative Betty Reed and Senator Arthenia Joyner. About a fifth of the states in the U-S have similar laws that ban the use of restraints on pregnant prisoners.