Votes to shackle pregnant women -- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 15, 2007

Votes to shackle pregnant women -- UPDATE

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2007 at 10:58 AM

We meant to do this ourselves, but Delphi's blog did the work for us. He listed the 16 House members, nearly all Republicans, who failed to support the humane bill to prohibit the Correction Department from shackling pregnant inmates.

Voting FOR SHACKLES: Republicans Jim Medley and Frank Glidewell of Fort Smith, Republican Johnny Key of Mountain Home, Republican Mark Martin of Prairie Grove, Republican Daryl Pace of Siloam Springs, Republican Bill Sample of Hot Springs, Republican in Democratic clothing Allen Maxwell of Monticello, Democrat Mike Patterson of Piggott, and two Republican women, Donna Hutchinson of Bella Vista and Beverly Pyle of Cedarville.

Democrat Ray Kidd of Jonesboro voted present, same as a PRO-SHACKLES vote.

Republicans Aaron Burkes, Jon Woods, and Eric Harris and Democrats J.R. Rogers and John Lowery didn't vote. Same effect as a PRO-SHACKLES vote.

UPDATE: We've received a note from Dee Ann Newell, who's been working for years on women inmate rights issues and she notes (though it isn't the reason these troglodytes opposed this legislation) that she and others think the Sharon Dobbins bill at issue here isn't a solution to the problem of inappropriate restraints on pregnant and birthing inmates. She writes:

I have spent the last 3 years preparing to educate and, hopefully, pass a bill outlawing the use of any sort of restraints on pregnant and birthing prisoners. The current bill, HB 1037, institutes the current policy and practice of ADC restraining pregnant prisoners. The National Coalition to Abolish the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Prisoners during Labor and Delivery has tens of thousands of supporters, both individuals and organizations. The National Advocates for Pregnant Women holds their annual conference this week, and I will be attending to discuss the movement to eliminate restraints.

Mrs. Dobbins bill does not address the primary issue: ADC should NOT have the authority to make security decisions that affect both the medical and psychological well-being of patients in labor and delivery. Please note that we are trying to identify an amendment that will make this bill do what the original intention was, despite the changes Mrs. Dobbins made. Please note on your blog that this bill is opposed by those who truly know what is going on in the labor and delivery of women prisoners, and stand for the total elimination of restraints.
Dee Ann Newell
U.S. Senior Justice Fellow, Soros Foundation
member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Use of Restraints on Pregnant Prisoners during Labor and Delivery


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