Every woman deserves safe and humane conditions in which to deliver her child.
And every child deserves safe delivery conditions that don’t risk his or her entry into this world.
But pregnant inmates—and their children—don’t always get those conditions. Pregnant inmates are sometimes shackled at the wrists and/or ankles while they give birth. This practice is extremely dangerous to both mother and baby and can cause major problems during delivery. This practice is almost always unnecessary. This practice has been opposed by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Correctional Association, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the U.S. Marshals Service. This practice has already been banned by a handful of other states.
Tomorrow morning at 9 AM, an Arizona Senate health committee will try to do something about the practice of shackling pregnant inmates. SB 1184 (prohibited restraints; pregnant prisoners) prohibits the use of restraints on pregnant inmates while they are being transported to a medical facility to deliver their baby, during labor and delivery, and during postpartum recovery. The bill is sensible and reasonable, and even includes a safety exception to allow for the limited use of restraints if it is absolutely necessary for the safety of medical and corrections personnel. The bill also has significant bipartisan support. Most importantly, SB 1184 goes a long way to ensuring safe conditions for mother and baby in a population that is all too often overlooked.
Tell Arizona’s legislators that you support the safety and well-being of all children and their mothers. Tell Arizona’s legislators that they can do the same by voting “YES” on SB 1184. There are two ways to do so.
If you have an account with the Legislature's request-to-speak system, log in and register your support. You can reach the log-in page by following this link: http://alistrack.azleg.gov/rts/login.asp
Contact the members of the Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee and ask them to vote “YES” on SB 1184. Here is the contact information for members of the committee:
Linda Gray (**committee chair and sponsor of the bill**)—email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 602-926-3376
Adam Driggs (vice-chair)—email: email@example.com; phone: 602-926-3016
Nancy Barto—email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 602-926-5766
Rich Crandall—email: email@example.com; phone: 602-926-3020
Leah Landrum Taylor—email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 602-926-3830
Linda Lopez—email: email@example.com; phone: 602-926-4089
Public Policy Director