Since the anti-shackling law (c. 103 of the Acts of 2014) passed unanimously last session, we have found four problem patterns that should be revised so that we can make a difference in practice and compliance with the law, to ensure these women are getting the intended protections. These problems can be addressed through revisions to the statute to clarify language or intent.
The adjustments to the anti-shackling law are as follows:
- Amends Chapter 103 of the Acts of 2014 by extending the period of time a woman cannot be restrained to include the post-partum recovery period of 6 weeks;
- Prohibits leg and waist restraints in all settings, not just during transportation, requires the superintendent or administrator of any state correctional facility to approve the use of restraints in extraordinary circumstances and conduct annual staff training on the law;
- Requires a superintendent or administrator of a facility to report to the Secretary of Public Safety and Security the use of restraints within 48 hours; and
- Requires an annual report to the legislature on all restraints used and makes such report a public record (this is a new bill).