New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently signed an anti-shackling bill into law which states pregnant prisoners will no longer be put into restraints when they’re transported for weekly medical appointments.
Pregnant women are more likely to lose their balance and fall when restrained, they’re also more susceptible to blood clots while in shackles.
In 2009, shackles were banned during labor, delivery and recovery. However, according to The NY Daily News, a study found that state prisons had been in violation of the law as multiple women reported being shackled during delivery.
A woman’s body takes several weeks, sometimes months to heal following child birth. The new law also prohibits the use of restraints within eight weeks after delivery, except in extenuating circumstances.
Prison staff are no longer allowed in the delivery room unless requested by the mother or medical staff.
Gov. Cuomo says the new law makes the criminal justice system “fairer and stronger.”
Assembly bill sponsor Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn) added, “Even while paying for crimes they committed, women are still entitled to be treated as human beings and today New York makes a big statement with a clear message that we will respect the human rights of the pregnant women in our prison system.”