Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shackling, counting pregnant inmates

On its website, the Texas Jail Project is promoting two bills related to jail health care for pregnant women:

HB 3653: BANS the shackling of incarcerated women in labor and delivery (with some necessary exceptions for safety).
HB 3654: requires county jails to plan their MEDICAL CARE of pregnant women and also requires them to COUNT how many pregnant women they have incarcerated.

Hard to imagine a postpartum shackling prohibition would be necessary - much less during "labor and delivery" - but apparently both the Texas Jail Project and the ACLU of Texas have received complaints about the practice from inmates and their families. TJP in particular has been gathering stories from incarcerated, expectant Moms since last year.

Further confirming the practice, Diana Claitor from TJP forwards this example of shackling pregnant women from the Dallas County Jail in the form of a letter from a nurse practitioner complaining about the practice last year.


Martin Magnusson said...

I'm trying to think which of these two bills is more insane.

Do Texas prison officials really a bill to tell that they should know how many pregnant women are in their custody?

Anonymous said...

I am sick to my stomache. What kind of morally and socially challenged people are in this "legal" justice system. How do these people sleep?
here is where the question of sanity should be raised, there something very wrong with anyone who has been part of this practice.

Anonymous said...

The State prisons , not only jails need to be included in this. Case in point , in the recent past an inmate at the Hobby unit was sent into the fields on the "hoesquad" after she explained she had just returned from the hospital 2 days before giving birth by cesarean section. A female sergeant sent her out anyway , the result : Tearing of the wound and return to the hospital. Your tax dollars pay for this cruelty, even if your feelings for prisoners are less than humane.

Anonymous said...

There are far too many mean, ugly and hateful Corrections Officers in TDCJ. These sociopaths do far more damage to our society in a day than most "criminals" do in a lifetime.

It is sad that our justice system is an impossible working environment and can only attract staff that are in reality far worse than most of the inmates they guard.

It is sad that "criminals" are exposed to such psycohpaths daily when we would all be better served if they were guarded by people that can set an example of behavior they should model when released. And......never forget, almost all prisoners are eventually released!

Anonymous said...

anon @ 5.26 ~ the reason TX needs laws to stop things like this is exactly because of what is described by anon@7.12. It's not necesarrily that there are so many "mean, ugly and hateful" COs as anon@10.23 puts it, but that COs can do these things until a law tells them they cannot.

The 'lock em up' camp would have you believe that many women have tried to escape while in hospital giving birth. Those people will be male. Anyone who has given birth knows that doing anything except trying to breathe is impossible while giving birth, and usually for a while afterwards.

Anonymous said...

This proves that there are a bunch of sadists working in prisoner health care in Texas.