“No matter what crime [women] have committed they are still children of God, created in His image, and deserving of being treated with decency.” - Pat Nolan
Incarcerated pregnant women are the most vulnerable of our incarcerated population. Unfortunately, the justice system rarely considers the special needs of this population, creating health risks for both the mothers and their babies. The use of restraints can cause injuries to mothers and their babies, including: physical trauma due to falls, trauma during labor from bone separation and muscle tears, blocked circulation, and miscarriage. In addition to the use of restraints, many pregnant women do not receive the proper nutrition they need to give birth to a healthy child. Some women are even held in solitary confinement, which harms the health and well-being of the mother and fetus. Sometimes women are even shackled postpartum, endangering the mother’s health when she should be recovering from the incredible stress her body just endured. Even though these pregnant women have committed a crime, it is still important to find a balance between the realities of incarceration and the health and well-being of the mother and baby.RECENT NEWS: Dignity For Incarcerated Women Advances at ALEC. American Conservative Union Scores Win With Approval of ALEC Model Bill.
Washington, D.C. – At the winter meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force adopted landmark model legislation on incarcerated women. The “Dignity for Incarcerated Women” model bill is intended to provide a template for every state legislature to improve policies for women behind bars. This key effort was sponsored by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF), along with key ALEC members, Rep. Bernie Satrom (R-ND) and Rep. Kim Moser (R-KY). This is anACT regarding the care of state incarcerated pregnant women, family visitation rights, the access male correctional officers have in correctional facilities where a female inmate may be in a state of undress, access to feminine hygiene products in correctional facilities, and the education and training of employees of correctional facilities in which female inmates are housed. The full text can be found here.