• invalid-0

    Absolutely barbaric! This is not about the incarcerated being dangerous to anyone during labor, but about the tough-on-crime, retribution climate of our nation that has gone too far for too many years. Thankfully, tiny sparks of compassion and economic reality are breaking through….

    Ms. Nelson passed bad checks. In California, the state of “Higher Incarceration”, it cost us tax payers $49,000 a year to lock up each inmate….

    WE NEED ALTERNATIVE PUNISHMENT THAT FORCES OFFENDERS TO REIMBURSE THOSE THEY HARMED AND DOES NOT BANKRUPT OUR STATES. That’s a tall order, but locking up 1 person out of every 100 is not sustainable. We need something more effective and cheaper.

  • http://www.correctionsrising.com invalid-0

    I can only speak about how the Florida Department of Corrections handles this kind of situation and our rules say no restraints shall be applied to pregnant women in labor, giving birth, or whenever a medical doctor says so. I am actually surprised that some prison systems do require restraints for women in labor or giving birth. However, we should not lose sight of why these women are in prison in the first place. Their crimes cost society a considerable amount of money and resources and it is they, the now incarcerated inmate, who willing chose her path. We are all concerned with the birth of a new born, and so should the female inmate be also. But this is by no means an argument to justify the application of restraints onto a woman in labor or giving birth. I simply want to point out that the inmate is responsible for his or her incarceration by committing crimes. This article points out the specific charge of one of the female inmates: check forging. Of course the charge of check forging is not associated with an inmate who may be a security risk such as escaping. But think of all the thousands of other female inmates incarcerated who are security risks. Now realized that Correctional Officers are trained NOT to know the specific crimes of inmates because it may affect their impartiality. That is why most Correctional Officers forgo what is seemingly common sense and follow rules and regulations to the letter, their trained that way.

  • invalid-0

    Regardless of why women are incarcerated, shackling women during labor or delivery or post-recovery is opposed by every major medical and public health organization. You cannot be truly concerned with the health and well-being of infants if you rationalize the shackling of the women who are giving them life.

  • http://www.asnatureintended.info invalid-0

    It doesn’t matter, is totally inhumane to chain a woman in labor/delivery not only the mother’s life is in jeopardy but also the baby. Very wrong, unnecessary and inhumane to society. What a disgrace!

    • invalid-0

      It’s easy for someone to sit back and quickly judge those who are simply following their training in maintaining safety and security of a prisoner, rest assured if they had to be the ones transporting these women to and from State and Federal Prisons they would think about their safety a little more. Why is it every time someone is restrained, they somehow claim to suffer mental anguish? Because people are quick to find any way to gain sympathy from the people and create a law suit in hopes to get free money from tax payers. I wish there was a fee for filing these tort claims, currently it cost a person nothing to create a suit or tort claim and then it cost the County, State, or Federal government several thousand dollars to defend (ever if they have a strong case and are right). Talk about injustice.

  • http://art150.com invalid-0

    Personally, i don’t feel in most cases these women have cause to complain if they commit their crimes whilst pregnant. If the treatment is unfair, they should consider this before breaking the law.

    HOWEVER, i think in cases where the women was raped, or the crime is minimal, i really don’t see this treatment as necessary. How many of these women would pose such serious danger that they could break out of custody after the birth. Hardly any i suspect. So whilst i have no time for some of these criminals looking to make a quite buck, some poor women are true victims and should be protected.

  • invalid-0

    This goes way beyond “unfair” treatment. This is barbaric, and it is torture, plain and simple. If you have ever seen or even heard a woman going through labor pains, you would understand why she needs free range of motion to deal with the pain. And why should only rape victims be unshackled? What about a woman convicted of murder who was then raped in prison, in contrast with a pregnant woman who writes bad checks to pay for baby supplies? Furthermore, why should a pregnant woman be subjected to a punishment that other women are not, and no man ever will be? Your argument falls apart under the simplest of logic tests. It’s a practice that should be universally banned.

  • http://www.lsrj.org invalid-0

    Texas Governor Rick Perry actually signed HB 3653 (which prohibits shackling or restraining women during labor or delivery) on June 19. The law becomes effective on September 1, 2009.

    For more information, please see the Texas Legislature’s website:

    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/billlookup/Actions.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=HB3653

  • anna-clark

    Join the broad coalition that’s urging Governor Paterson to sign the
    bill that prevents women in prison from being shackled during labor and
    after delivery at the Anti-Shackling Rally on July 9 (tomorrow!)

     

    See details here.

  • invalid-0

    Here in my little corner of the world in Southern California, the hospital I work for will not allow women who are giving birth to be shackled. Are they shackled during transportation while pregnant? Yes, for the safety of other patients and healthcare personnel in the hospital. Do I agree with this? Yes, I certainly do. It is done to every inmate who visits our facility, man or woman – escapes have happened. Remember, they are in jail for a reason. We even offer a Doula program so that they have someone who is there for them and only them during labor. I work in a program that manages the healthcare of jail inmates so I am aware of what happens. This said, I also see what these women have done while pregnant, and also their histories – other children given up, doing drugs and alcohol while pregnant, etc. The healthcare that these women get is equal to, or better that what the commmunity as a whole recieves – access to nurses and a doctor every day, twice a week to an OB/Gyn. Doesn’t sound like human rights are being violated to me. Now who pays for these services? All of us taxpayers, of course.

  • emma

    I cannot believe people are defending this. Those of you who are saying ‘oh well, she should have thought of that before she committed the crime’ – are you serious? Having committed a crime doesn’t make one a sub-human, undeserving of even basic rights. And I can’t believe someone’s actually suggesting that someone jailed for writing bad checks has committed such a horrific crime that shackling is an appropriate part of her punishment. It’s a non-violent offense; there is no way to justify it on the basis of her presenting a danger to anyone. It sounds like it’s intended to serve no purpose other than to punish, degrade and cause gratuitous pain and suffering.

     

    Can I also remind you that the United States imprisons a higher percentage of its population than any country in the world – more than any prison state; more than Russia, China, Iran… The US jails people for minor, non-violent offenses that would not be considered to warrant prison sentences in most countries. That level of punitiveness is a major problem, and the use of shackling is another element of that punitive culture. Shackling anyone – especially someone who’s giving birth – is a horrendous, inhumane practice, but also…what exactly is achieved by treating non-violent, minor offenders like hardened criminals? What is this supposed to accomplish, other than allowing elected officials to brandish their ‘tough on crime’ cred?

     

    (If you want more info on the subject of paragraph two, google ‘global imprisonment rates’.)

  • invalid-0

    It is so hard bringing a baby into the world as it is and now these women have endure this?

    I don’t really care what these women did to become a prisoner but when a loady is having a baby she should be at the best of comfort during that trying time and that is a fact.

    I know that prisons have no feelings at but this is way over the top.

    I wonder if a man was having a baby would they do the same thing to him? I really doubt it.

  • invalid-0

    I know they get the best of the best when it comes to health insurance but when these women are in full fledged ready to have a baby isn’t hard to do anything other than having a baby?

  • invalid-0

    What is this supposed to accomplish, other than allowing elected officials to brandish their ‘tough on crime’ cred?

    Profits for the Prison Industrial complex (another phrase to google).

  • cnmellen

    As a midwife working in public hospitals in New York City I have had several occasions to care for prisoners in labor and giving birth. I always demanded that their shackles be removed. Shame on the doctors and nurses who allow their laboring patients to be abused this way and not speak out against it.

    But remember, it is not so long ago that all women were strapped by the wrists and ankles to the delivery table to give birth, one of several cruel and punitive routine practices in hospital births.

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