NY clarifies ban on restraining pregnant inmates

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 24: Devine Beauchamp holds her pregnant belly inside her cell at the Indiana Women's Prison on March 24, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indiana Women's Prison is host to the Family Preservation Program. In the last two years the program has expanded to include the Wee Ones Nursery, which allows eligible offenders who deliver while incarcerated at IWP to reside with their infant at the facility for up to 18 months or the mother's earliest possible release date, whichever is sooner. (Photo by Shaul Schwarz/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an amendment clarifying the general prohibition on shackling pregnant inmates at prisons and county jails, including during travel and at medical appointments.

Sponsors say some guards were still shackling inmates illegally despite the prohibition first enacted in 2009.

The law, amended in December, permits only wrist restraints in front “when the woman poses an immediate risk of serious injury to herself or medical or correctional personnel or others and cannot reasonably be restrained by other means.”

It requires pre-approval from a prison superintendent or sheriff except in emergencies during transport.

The ban extends to eight weeks after the baby is delivered or the pregnancy is terminated.

It requires annual reports from the corrections department and sheriffs specifying the reason, type and duration of restraint used.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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