The Dignity for Women Who are Incarcerated Act outlines a number of requirements to better ensure the care and well-being of people who are incarcerated while pregnant and/or postpartum, including specific rules around not shackling women. This law prohibits restraints during the second and third trimester, labor and delivery, and six weeks postpartum except in certain specified instances. If a correctional officer makes an individualized determination that such an instance exists, they must submit a written report to the administrator/warden within 5 days.
If you encounter an incarcerated person who is pregnant in the second and third trimester, in active labor and delivery, or who is six weeks postpartum in restraints, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Respectfully inform the law enforcement officer about the new Dignity for Women Who are Incarcerated Act and that the use of restraints is in violation of the new law.
- Respectfully ask them to remove the restrains from the patient.
- If the law enforcement officer refuses to remove restraints, contact the local sheriff’s office from which the patient is currently being housed.
Click HERE to find the directory of county sheriff’s departments.
- Report incident to a supervisor.
- Report the incident HERE. If you encounter any other suspected violation of the Dignity Act, please also report the incident.
Reporting can remain anonymous. The purpose of collecting incidents is not for legal or punitive purposes, but to help identify where further support, training, and education are needed.