Senate bill could finally ban restraints on pregnant Tennessee prisoners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A bill (SB 2769) under study on the Senate floor would finally prohibit a correctional facility from using restraints on pregnant inmates.

Some lawmakers say the bill to stop it is long overdue. “It will end the shackling of incarcerated and pregnant women,” said Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis).

The new law could address the detention of pregnant women to ensure they do not experience undue additional stress.

“There were several incidents in local jails, including in Davidson County, where it really took a toll on the health of the mother and baby,” Akbari said.

If passed, jails and jails will be banned from chaining pregnant inmates nationally and locally, including during labour, transportation to a medical facility, childbirth and postpartum.

“The use of restraints while a person is in labor is not only dehumanizing, but also dangerous – it places the woman in a potentially deadly position for herself or the child,” Akbari said.

And for those who say there shouldn’t be special treatment for criminals after arrest, Senator Akbari says it comes down to health. “I think it has to do with health and safety, and we’ve worked with law enforcement to get the best bill possible where they don’t feel unable to hold the prisoner in any way. safe that protects everyone. ”

The bill would also mandate annual training for corrections employees who guard or transport female inmates.

There are exceptions to the unfettered bill, including if the detainee poses a risk of flight, immediate self-harm to themselves or the unborn child, or if they are part of a classification in prison that requires the use of restraints.

Norman D. Briggs