Massachusetts Senate unanimously passes anti-shackling legislation!

The Senate unanimously approved a bill to protect Massachusetts moms from being shackled during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

by Leah Sakala, March 21, 2014

Yesterday Massachusetts took a huge step towards becoming the 19th state to reject the dangerous and inhumane practice of shackling mothers who are pregnant, in labor, or in the postpartum period while they are incarcerated.

The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed Bill S.1171, which would ban the routine use of physical restraints on incarcerated pregnant women after the first trimester, including during labor and delivery. The bill also establishes common-sense basic standards for the maternity and childbirth care and information afforded to women who are incarcerated in Massachusetts.

The Prison Policy Initiative is a proud member of the Massachusetts Anti-Shackling Coalition (press release on the bill passage here), and we submitted testimony in support of S.1171 for the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security’s public hearing in December.

Now the bill moves on to the House. Stay tuned!

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