Support HB 027/SB 656: Correctional Services - Healthy Births for Incarcerated Women Act

Countless women in Maryland enter correctional facilities while pregnant. Those women often endure humiliation, pain, and risk of being harmed from being shackled throughout their pregnancy during transport, labor, delivery, and recovery.

National correctional and medical associations oppose shackling pregnant women because it is unnecessary and harmful. Yet Maryland law does not require correctional staff to consider input from medical professionals when deciding whether to unshackle a pregnant woman, even during labor and delivery.

The law regarding the shackling of pregnant women needs to be clear and humane, and the practice must be prohibited during labor and delivery. 


_ Shackling pregnant women is dangerous and inhumane.

_ Major national correctional and medical associations oppose shackling pregnant women because it is unnecessary and harmful to a woman and her pregnancy.

_ The vast majority of female prisoners are non-violent offenders who pose a low security risk - particularly during labor and post-partum recovery.


_ Prohibits use of any physical restraint during labor and delivery.

_ Prohibits use of physical restraints in the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy in any context, absent an individualized determination of substantial flight risk or security circumstance that jeopardizes staff, the inmate or public safety.

_ Prohibits use of any leg or waist restraints for women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy and requires that any restraint used be the least restrictive possible.

_ Require that correctional staff remove restraints upon the request of a health professional.

_ Require that medical professionals decide when it is safe to return a woman to prison.

_ Applies to all prisons and local correctional facilities.

_ Require that each instance of physical restraint be recorded, retained for five years, and reported to Governor and the General Assembly.


American Civil Liberties Union                Baltimore, MD
Women's Law Center of Maryland, Inc.            Baltimore, MD
Public Justice Center                        Baltimore, MD
Power Inside                            Baltimore, MD
Marian House, Inc.                        Baltimore, MD
Alternative Directions, Inc.                    Baltimore, MD
Hopkins Feminists, Johns Hopkins University        Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Student Harm Reduction Coalition, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
National Advocates for Pregnant Women            New York, NY        
Different Avenues, Inc.                    Washington, DC
Women With A Vision, Inc.                    New Orleans, LA
California Coalition for Women Prisoners          San Francisco, CA
Rachel Roth, Ph.D., Soros Justice Fellow, Author      Arlington, MA                      

Healthcare for the Homeless, Baltimore, MD

Turn Around Baltimore, MD

Our Bodies Ourselves

 Shackling of Pregnant Women: Danielle's Story

mytubethumb play
Privacy statement. This embed will serve content from

This is Danielle's story of being shackled during her labor and delivery while a prisoner in Maryland.