Florida Senate - 2012 SB 524 By Senator Joyner 18-00078A-12 2012524__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the restraint of incarcerated 3 pregnant women; providing a short title; defining 4 terms; prohibiting use of restraints on a prisoner 5 known to be pregnant during labor, delivery, and 6 postpartum recovery unless a corrections official 7 determines that the prisoner presents an extraordinary 8 circumstance; requiring that a corrections officer or 9 other official accompanying a prisoner remove all 10 restraints if the doctor, nurse, or other health care 11 professional treating the prisoner requests that 12 restraints not be used; prohibiting leg, ankle, or 13 waist restraints from being used on a prisoner under 14 specified circumstances; requiring that restraints be 15 applied in the least restrictive manner necessary; 16 requiring that the corrections official make written 17 findings within 10 days as to the extraordinary 18 circumstance that dictated the use of restraints; 19 requiring that the findings be kept on file for a 20 certain period and be made available for public 21 inspection; restricting the use of waist, wrist, or 22 leg and ankle restraints during the third trimester of 23 pregnancy or when requested by a doctor, nurse, or 24 other health care professional treating the prisoner; 25 requiring that the use of restraints on a pregnant 26 prisoner be by the least restrictive manner necessary; 27 authorizing any woman who is restrained in violation 28 of the act to file a grievance within a specified 29 period; providing that these remedies do not prevent a 30 woman harmed from filing a complaint under any other 31 relevant federal or state law; directing the 32 Department of Corrections and the Department of 33 Juvenile Justice to adopt rules; requiring that 34 correctional institutions and detention facilities 35 inform female prisoners of the rules upon admission, 36 include the policies and practices in the prisoner 37 handbook, and post the policies and practices in the 38 correctional institution or detention facility; 39 requiring that the Secretary of Corrections, the 40 Secretary of Juvenile Justice, and county and 41 municipal corrections officials annually file written 42 reports with the Executive Office of the Governor 43 detailing each incident of restraint in violation of 44 law or as an authorized exception; requiring that the 45 reports be made available for public inspection; 46 providing an effective date. 47 48 WHEREAS, restraining a pregnant prisoner can pose undue 49 health risks and increase the potential for physical harm to the 50 woman and her pregnancy, and 51 WHEREAS, the vast majority of female prisoners in this 52 state are nonviolent offenders, and 53 WHEREAS, freedom from physical restraints is especially 54 critical during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery after 55 delivery as women often need to move around during labor and 56 recovery, including moving their legs as part of the birthing 57 process, and 58 WHEREAS, restraints on a pregnant woman can interfere with 59 the medical staff’s ability to appropriately assist in 60 childbirth or to conduct sudden emergency procedures, and 61 WHEREAS, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States 62 Marshals Service, the American Correctional Association, the 63 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the 64 American Public Health Association all oppose restraining women 65 during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery because it is 66 unnecessary and dangerous to a woman’s health and well-being, 67 NOW, THEREFORE, 68 69 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 70 71 Section 1. Shackling of incarcerated pregnant prisoners.— 72 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Healthy 73 Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act.” 74 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 75 (a) “Correctional institution” means a facility under the 76 authority of the department or the Department of Juvenile 77 Justice, a county or municipal detention facility, or a 78 detention facility operated by a private entity. 79 (b) “Corrections official” means the official who is 80 responsible for oversight of a correctional institution, or his 81 or her designee. 82 (c) “Department” means the Department of Corrections. 83 (d) “Extraordinary circumstance” means a substantial flight 84 risk or some other extraordinary medical or security 85 circumstance that dictates that restraints be used to ensure the 86 safety and security of the prisoner, the staff of the 87 correctional institution or medical facility, other prisoners, 88 or the public. 89 (e) “Labor” means the period before a birth during which 90 contractions are of sufficient frequency, intensity, and 91 duration to bring about effacement and progressive dilation of 92 the cervix. 93 (f) “Postpartum recovery” means, the period immediately 94 following delivery, including the recovery period when a woman 95 is in the hospital or infirmary following birth. 96 (g) “Prisoner” means any person incarcerated or detained in 97 a correctional institution who is accused of, convicted of, 98 sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of 99 criminal law or the terms and conditions of parole, probation, 100 community control, pretrial release, or a diversionary program. 101 For purposes of this section, the term includes any woman 102 detained under the immigration laws of the United States at any 103 correctional institution. 104 (h) “Restraints” means any physical restraint or mechanical 105 device used to control the movement of a prisoner’s body or 106 limbs, including, but not limited to, shackles, flex cuffs, soft 107 restraints, hard metal handcuffs, a black box, Chubb cuffs, leg 108 irons, belly chains, a security or tether chain, or a convex 109 shield. 110 (3) RESTRAINT OF PRISONERS.— 111 (a) Restraints may not be used on a prisoner who is known 112 to be pregnant during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery, 113 unless the corrections official determines that the prisoner 114 presents an extraordinary circumstance, except that: 115 1. If the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional 116 treating the prisoner requests that restraints not be used, the 117 corrections officer, correctional institution employee, or other 118 officer accompanying the pregnant prisoner shall remove all 119 restraints; and 120 2. Leg, ankle, or waist restraints may not be used under 121 any circumstance on a pregnant prisoner who is in labor or 122 delivery. 123 (b) If restraints are used on a pregnant prisoner pursuant 124 to paragraph (a): 125 1. The type of restraint applied and the application of the 126 restraint must be done in the least restrictive manner necessary 127 in order to mitigate the possibility of adverse medical 128 consequences; and 129 2. The corrections official shall make written findings 130 within 10 days after the use of restraints as to the 131 extraordinary circumstance that dictated the use of the 132 restraints. These findings shall be kept on file by the 133 correctional institution for at least 5 years and be made 134 available for public inspection. 135 (c) During the third trimester of pregnancy, or when 136 requested by the doctor, nurse, or other health care 137 professional treating the pregnant prisoner: 138 1. Waist restraints that directly constrict the area of 139 pregnancy may not be used; 140 2. If wrist restraints are used, they must be applied in 141 such a way that the pregnant prisoner is able to protect herself 142 in the event of a forward fall; and 143 3. Leg and ankle restraints that restrain the legs close 144 together may not be used when the prisoner is required to walk 145 or stand. 146 4. Use of leg, ankle, or waist restraints is subject to 147 subparagraph (a)2. 148 (4) ENFORCEMENT.— 149 (a) Notwithstanding any relief or claims afforded by 150 federal or state law, any prisoner who is restrained in 151 violation of this section may file a grievance with the 152 department pursuant to s. 944.331, Florida Statutes, within 1 153 year after the incident. 154 (b) This section does not prevent a woman harmed under this 155 section from filing a complaint under any other relevant federal 156 or state law. 157 (5) NOTICE TO PRISONERS.— 158 (a) By September 1, 2012, the department and the Department 159 of Juvenile Justice shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) 160 and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer this section. 161 (b) Each correctional institution shall inform female 162 prisoners of the rules developed pursuant to paragraph (a) upon 163 admission to the correctional institution, including the 164 policies and practices in the prisoner handbook, and must post 165 the policies and practices in locations in the correctional 166 institution where such notices are commonly posted and seen by 167 female prisoners, including common housing areas and medical 168 care facilities. 169 (6) ANNUAL REPORT.—By June 30 of each year, the Secretary 170 of Corrections, the Secretary of Juvenile Justice, and the 171 corrections official of each municipal and county detention 172 facility where a pregnant prisoner has been restrained pursuant 173 to paragraph (3)(a), or in violation of subsection (3), during 174 the previous year shall submit a written report to the Executive 175 Office of the Governor which includes an account of every such 176 instance. The reports shall be made available for public 177 inspection. 178 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.