Synopsis of the Issue

National Symposium on the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Behind Bars

The National Symposium on the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Behind Bars was convened on November 22, 2010 in Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, in partnership with the Rebecca Project for Human Rights. The Symposium was planned – along with staff from the Rebecca Project – and facilitated by the Center for Effective Public Policy and was designed to promote awareness and advance a national dialogue that will inform future reform initiatives. The Symposium was attended by a broad range of stakeholders and interested parties including criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, and representatives; medical experts; human rights advocates; and other key stakeholders. This paper is designed to frame the issues that emerged, highlight key discussion points and recommendations offered by Symposium participants, and identify specific steps interested parties have agreed to take to advance dialogue and action in this area.

Click here for the report from the November 22, 2010 National Symposium of the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Behind Bars.

Pregnant Inmates: Corrections' Concern for Their Health and Safety

During 2010, in 50 jurisdictions (48 States plus the BOP and NYC DOC) 1731 births took place.  Of those 1731 births, 216 were considered problematic.  Additionally, in those jurisdictions during that same time period, there were 7057 trips to outside medical appointments by pregnant inmates.

Click here to view the ASCA survey results for  calendar year 2010 Prison Births.

Documents and Articles

Use of Restraints on Pregnant Inmates Task Force Final Report

The National Task Force on the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women under Correctional Custody has received final approval from DOJ for distribution of the Best Practices in the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls Under Correctional Custody.  Attached is a copy of the publication, and its abstract.

Click here for the Best Practices in the Use of Restraints with Pregnant Women and Girls Under Correctional Custody report.
Click here for the abstract of the report.

National Symposium on the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Behind Bars

The National Symposium on the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Behind Bars was convened on November 22, 2010 in Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, in partnership with the Rebecca Project for Human Rights. The Symposium was planned – along with staff from the Rebecca Project – and facilitated by the Center for Effective Public Policy and was designed to promote awareness and advance a national dialogue that will inform future reform initiatives. The Symposium was attended by a broad range of stakeholders and interested parties including criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, and representatives; medical experts; human rights advocates; and other key stakeholders. This paper is designed to frame the issues that emerged, highlight key discussion points and recommendations offered by Symposium participants, and identify specific steps interested parties have agreed to take to advance dialogue and action in this area.

Click here for the report from the November 22, 2010 National Symposium of the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Behind Bars.

Rebecca Project Releases Report: Mothers Behind Bars

In October 2010, The Rebecca Project released the report, Mothers Behind Bars: A state-by-state report card and analysis of federal policies on conditions of confinement for pregnant and parenting women and the effect on their children. The Rebecca Project and the National Women¹s Law Center collaborated on this Report Card, which analyzes federal and state policies on prenatal care, shackling, and alternative sentencing programs and grades states on whether their policies help or harm incarcerated women in these key areas. The Report Card also provides an analysis of related federal laws and policies regarding conditions of confinement for women in federal prisons and immigration detention facilities. Additionally, it assesses how the federal government funds state programs that serve incarcerated pregnant or parenting women. Click here to download the report.

Contrary to what was noted in The Rebecca Report, correctional administrators have voiced a number of issues with the information provided in the Report.  Current policies in place in the majority of jurisdictions show that properly caring for pregnant inmates while providing appropriate security is a priority for ASCA members.

Click on the State below to view their response to the The Rebecca Project's report.

 AlabamaArizona,  ColoradoFloridaIdahoKentuckyMassachusetts Michigan Missouri

North CarolinaNorth DakotaOregonSouth DakotaVermontWashington

National Women's Law Center Webinar on Mothers Behind Bars

The NWLC and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights held a webinar on November 8, 2010 to discuss the recently released report Mothers Behind Bars: A state-by-state report card and analysis of federal policies on conditions of confinement for pregnant and parenting women and the effect on their children.

Click here for the PowerPoint slide show from the webinar.

Click here for the audio recording of the webinar.

Committee Discussion of the Issue

Draft of Positions on the Issue

Members Forum on the Issue

Voting