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Conn. Bill Prohibits Shackling Of Incarcerated Women During Labor

Brian Bohannon

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday requiring fair treatment for incarcerated women. 

The bill passed 148-0. It had passed unanimously in the Senate on Tuesday.

The legislation prohibits the shackling of pregnant inmates during labor. Its passage comes three months after a woman gave birth in her prison cell at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic, the State’s only women’s prison.

Democratic Representative Robyn Porter of New Haven commended former inmates of the prison for speaking out.

“I want to say thank you to the women who had the courage and the intestinal fortitude to come forward and to share their stories with us, very intimate stories that many would not have been comfortable with sharing. I thank them for that, because their voices and their faces helped to get this done.”

The bill also requires the Department of Correction to provide female inmates with feminine hygiene products at no cost. And it requires the department to establish child-friendly visitation policies and standards for the treatment of transgender inmates.

Governor Dannel Malloy had pushed for passage of the bill. He says he plans to sign it into law.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.