RI Senate passes pregnant inmate restraint rules


Rhode Island Senators have voted to set standards for when pregnant inmates can be restrained.

The Senate voted Thursday to approve the standards. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

The bill would prohibit the use of handcuffs, shackles or waist restraints when an inmate is giving birth. Only medically appropriate restraints could be used during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Exceptions could be made for inmates who pose a serious safety threat or flight risk.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Rhoda Perry. The Providence Democrat says her bill is intended to prevent unnecessary harm to pregnant inmates or their unborn children.

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