BOP Bans Shackling of Pregnant Inmates
This new policy represents a sea change in the United States, where the shackling of pregnant women during transport, labor, and even delivery has long been routine in jails and prisons. Currently, only California, Illinois, and Vermont have enacted state laws restricting the practice of shackling pregnant women. By contrast, international human rights bodies have repeatedly expressed concern about policies that permit shackling of pregnant women.
In other good news, an Arizona judge has declared the conditions of the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio's domain -- unconsitutional. [More...]
n a sweeping rebuff of an attempt by Arpaio to terminate a federal consent decree mandating that he maintain conditions at the Maricopa County Jail that meet constitutional minimums, Judge Neil Wake ordered that jail officials ensure that all detainees receive necessary medical and mental health care, that they be given uninterrupted access to all medicines prescribed by correctional medical staff, that they be given access to toilets, sinks, toilet paper and soap and that they be served food that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines.
"Sheriff Arpaio's horrendous treatment of detainees, especially those with severe medical and mental health problems, has caused terrible suffering for years," said Margaret Winter, Associate Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project. "Judge Wake's decision should serve as a reminder that even a man who brags about being the toughest sheriff in America has to abide by the Constitution."
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