Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 19, 2012

Va. board delays vote on inmate restraint limits


Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Board of Corrections has postponed a vote on regulations to restrict the use of restraints on pregnant jail inmates.

The board was scheduled to vote on the regulations Wednesday in Richmond, but action has been delayed until Oct. 17.

Inmate advocates and law enforcement officials have been working with board members for months to draft language both sides can live with. A few wording issues remain to be settled, but the regulations generally would allow pregnant prisoners to be restrained only during transport outside the jail. Even then, they could only be handcuffed in front unless they pose a danger or flight risk. The use of restraints during childbirth also would be severely restricted.

Legislation to restrict shackling of pregnant inmates died in the 2012 General Assembly.