Colorado

May 5, 2010 8:59 AM by Associated Press

Shackles could be limited during inmate deliveries

Colorado lawmakers are considering limiting the use of shackles on female inmates during childbirth.

The state Senate gave initial approval to the legislation Tuesday. Republicans backed it even though Democrats refused to include language stating that the limits would also help the babies of inmates.

Guards will sometimes handcuff one arm of a state inmate to the bed during labor depending on her escape history and security level. Prison officials say that in rare instances, women will also be handcuffed to the bed during delivery.

The bill would only allow such restraints to be used if officials think the woman poses an immediate threat to medical staff. It would bar the use of leg shackles and waist restraints during delivery.

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