Tennessee spikes bill banning shackling pregnant inmates


AP Photo/ Gerald Herbert

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers have spiked a proposal that would ban shackling pregnant women in detention, particularly during childbirth.

Lawmakers on a House Corrections subcommittee failed to advance the bill on a tie vote Tuesday. According to the legislation, solitary confinement would have been banned for pregnant women before and after giving birth.

The legislation was backed by Democratic leaders and civil rights activists.

In 2013, Tennessee made national headlines when a federal judge ruled that jail officers showed “deliberate indifference” when they cuffed a woman to her hospital bed through most of her labor and during recovery.

An attorney for the Tennessee Department of Corrections estimated that roughly five or six women a year give birth while incarcerated.

Minority Leader Karen Camper said the bill was attempting to codify current correction department practice.

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