Hot on the Heels of DOC Policy Change: Iowa House to consider bill banning shackles for pregnant inmates

Originally posted on DesMoines Register

Jan 31, 2013 | by Jason Noble |

An Iowa House panel will consider a bill on Monday barring the use of restraints on pregnant inmates.

The issue of female Iowa prison inmates being shackled during pregnancy and even immediately before and after giving birth has gained attention in recent weeks, and was the subject of a Des Moines Register investigation last week.

The legislation, House Study Bill 95, would prohibit jails and prisons from using restraints on a pregnant detainee except under “extraordinary circumstances.”

The hearing, to be conducted a subcommittee of the House Human Resources Committee, is set for 11:30 a.m. Monday in the House Lounge at the state Capitol.

According to the Des Moines Register, "There were between 17 and 26 pregnancies of Iowa inmates in each of the past five years, prison records show. The cost of delivery is typically between $2,000 and $3,500, with transportation costs for multiple doctor visits prior to delivery around $1,300, records show." Three women wrote statements to the ACLU about their ordeals during pregnancy, childbirth and recovery, but were prohibited from speaking directly to the media.

You can read Khrista's story here and Angie's story here.

Thanks to Nick at Nation Inside for bringing this to my attention!