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Bill On Restraining Pregnant Inmates Stalls In Virginia

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Members in Virginia's House want to wait for the Board of Corrections to come up with thier own regulations.
Members in Virginia's House want to wait for the Board of Corrections to come up with thier own regulations.

Legislation to restrict the use of restraints on pregnant inmates in Virginia will not move forward.

The bill from Delegate Patrick Hope would have scaled back shackling and handcuffing of pregnant inmates during doctor visits, labor, delivery and postpartum recovery. It would have allowed the practice if a prisoner poses serious harm to herself or others, or when there is a flight risk.

Members of a Virginia House subcommittee say the state's Board of Corrections is developing new regulations and they prefer to let that process continue.

Hope says he'll introduce legislation next year if the new regulations are too weak.

His bill had backing from a broad coalition -- including the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Family Foundation -- among others. 


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