Giving Birth in Shackles
Adam Liptak is doing a wonderful job of covering significant criminal justice issues (like this one) that are overlooked by other reporters. Today he tells the distressing story of female prisoners who are kept in leg shackles as they're giving birth.
Despite sporadic complaints and occasional lawsuits, the practice of shackling prisoners in labor continues to be relatively common, state legislators and a human rights group said. Only two states, California and Illinois, have laws forbidding the practice. The New York Legislature is considering a similar bill.
Prison officials argue that felons are dangerous escape risks, but it's difficult to understand how a woman in labor could flee from a prison guard. Shackling isn't just an indignity; it creates health risks for both the inmate and the newborn child.
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