Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Corrections
Board of Corrections
Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups [6 VAC 15 ‑ 40]
Action Amend Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups to add requirements on restraint of pregnant offenders
Comment Period Ends 2/29/2012
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2/28/12  10:59 am
Commenter: John Downing

Shackling of Prisoners during Childbirth

Unless it is absolutely necessary, constraining prisoners during pregnancy and childbirth diminishes respect for the sacredness of human life and regard for inherent human dignity. 

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association oppose the practice of shackling inmates due to the health risks it poses to the life of the mother and her child. 

The adoption of limitations does not present a threat to safety: states which have restricted the use of restraints on pregnant inmates have no documented instances of women in labor or delivery causing harm to themselves, correctional staff or medical staff. 

State-run correctional facilities have already enacted limitations on this practice; local and regional facilities should do the same.