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Maine’s New Anti-Shackling Law Was No ‘Accident’

After Maine Gov. Paul LePage made national news earlier this month by claiming to have “pocket vetoed” 19 bills that became law without his signature, messages started popping up in my inbox saying things like “An accidental win!” and “Maine—accidentally—outlaws shackling pregnant women?”

After Maine Gov. Paul LePage made national news earlier this month by claiming to have “pocket vetoed” 19 bills that became law without his signature, messages started popping up in my inbox saying things like “An accidental win!” and “Maine—accidentally—outlaws shackling pregnant women?”

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Dilemma Faced in ‘Orange Is the New Black’ All Too Real for Mothers Behind Bars

In the newly released season of Orange Is the New Black, Daya Diaz must grapple with whether she should give her baby up for adoption or have the newborn go into foster care as she finishes her 36-month sentence. Diaz's plight reflects the real-life situation of incarcerated mothers around the country.

In the newly released season of Orange Is the New Black, Daya Diaz must grapple with whether she should give her baby up for adoption or have the newborn go into foster care as she finishes her 36-month sentence. Diaz’s plight reflects the real-life situation of incarcerated mothers around the country.

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‘Blended’ Takes Poignant Look at Unique Issues Stepfamilies Face

Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience notes that a whopping 95 million adults in the United States have a step-relationship. The book does not gloss over the difficulties involved with these situations, nor does it neglect the humor and affection often present.

Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience notes that a whopping 95 million adults in the United States have a step-relationship. The book does not gloss over the difficulties involved with these situations, nor does it neglect the humor and affection often present.

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Names Do Hurt: The Case Against Using Derogatory Language to Describe People in Prison

Too often, news stories about people in prison or jail use dehumanizing language to describe those under government control. While this coverage draws attention to widespread abuses in the criminal justice system, it frequently undercuts the humanity of the people featured with derogatory phrases.

Too often, news stories about people in prison or jail use dehumanizing language to describe those under government control. The term “inmate” is the most pervasive of these words; it is widely used by judges, prison and jail officials and staff, and the media.

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Women, Incarcerated: Investigative Series Shows Systemic Abuses of Women in Prisons and Jails

In this first part of RH Reality Check's Women, Incarcerated series, we focus on one woman's prison time—which involved a high-risk pregnancy, forced induced labor, and shackling—to illustrate the problems that thousands of women face behind bars.

In this first part of RH Reality Check‘s Women, Incarcerated series, we focus on one woman’s prison time—which involved a high-risk pregnancy, forced induced labor, and shackling—to illustrate the problems that thousands of women face behind bars.

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Report Finds ‘Shockingly Substandard’ Reproductive Health Care in New York Prisons

Members of the Coalition for Women Prisoners attend a rally for New York’s 2009 anti-shackling law.

The report details numerous violations of the state’s anti-shackling law, severely limited access to birth control, lack of trauma-informed clinical care, and a routine denial of basic hygiene items like sanitary napkins and toilet paper.

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Lawyers for Fetuses? Yes, It’s Absurd, But It’s Worse Than You Realize

Jessica Williams in a Daily Show segment on Alabama's law that assigns a lawyer as a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the interest of an embryo or fetus whenever a minor needs judicial permission to get an abortion.

As ludicrous as Alabama’s law is, having lawyers for fetuses is not new—and they are not just appointed to try to stop girls from having abortions. In fact, they have been used for decades in state and judicial efforts to strip pregnant women of their civil and human rights.

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‘Locked Down, Locked Out’ Puts a Face on the Criminal Justice System

Maya Schenwar's book uses her family's personal experiences with incarceration as a framing device for more general statistics about how the legal system works, addressing the racism, classism, heterosexism, and misogyny at the heart of law-and-order policies.

Maya Schenwar’s book uses her family’s personal experiences with incarceration as a framing device for more general statistics about how the legal system works, addressing the racism, classism, heterosexism, and misogyny at the heart of law-and-order policies.

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The Criminal Justice System Is Failing Black Families

Marissa Alexander’s story resonates with me, not because I am a mother, or even a past victim of domestic violence, but because my life has been greatly affected by the systematic expansion of the prison system and excessive criminalization of my community.

Dr. Dorothy Roberts is right: Incarceration of women “inflicts incalculable damage to communities …. [transferring] racial disadvantage to the next generation.”

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Why Are Alameda County Jails Forcing Women to Take Pregnancy Tests?

No one can say for exactly how long Alameda County jails have been forcing arrested women to take pregnancy tests, and no one can really explain why.

For at least several years, Alameda County sheriffs and medical personnel have routinely conducted pregnancy tests on thousands of prisoners, old and young, fertile and sterile, willing or not. It’s a practice that isn’t shared by any other jails in California. No one can say for exactly how long Alameda County jails have been forcing arrested women to take pregnancy tests, and no one can really explain why.

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