April 10, 2018
“When a pregnant woman is booked into a San Diego County jail, she’s told she ‘will be chained and handcuffed’ when she delivers her baby but state law prohibits restraints ‘by the wrists, ankles, or both’ during labor, delivery and recovery unless an inmate’s deemed a threat to herself or others.
Carol Strickman, an attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, which has published a series of reports on the shackling of pregnant inmates, said restraints are supposed to be the exception, not the norm.
‘To start out as routine — a standard that everybody’s going to be shackled until we decide we don’t need to — is wrong,’ she said.
Strickman said her organization thought San Diego was complying with state law based on the department’s written policies that say restraints should be used only if ‘deemed necessary.’
‘I’m really disappointed to hear this,’ she said. ‘We know a lot of times the counties’ policies are in compliance, but we can’t really speak to what their practice is.'”