SENATE, No. 221

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  DIANE B. ALLEN

District 7 (Burlington)

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator A.R.Bucco

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits the restraint of prisoners during and immediately after childbirth.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning the restraint of prisoners during childbirth and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     “Labor” means the period of time before a birth during which contractions are of sufficient frequency, intensity, and duration to bring about effacement and progressive dilatation of the cervix.  The determination of when labor has commenced shall rest solely with the medical providers of the incarcerated person.

     “Postpartum” means the period following delivery, including the entire period a woman is in the hospital after the birth of her child or children.

     “Restraints” means any physical restraint or mechanical device used to control the movement of a prisoner’s or detainee’s body and limbs, including, but not limited to, shackles, flex cuffs, soft restraints, hard metal handcuffs, a black box, Chubb cuffs, leg irons, belly chains, a security or tether chain, or a convex shield.

 

     2.    a.  No staff member of, or medical service provider for, a facility shall apply restraints to an incarcerated person known to be pregnant during any stage of labor, any pregnancy related medical distress, transport to a medical facility, or delivery, or postpartum.

     b.    A staff member of, or medical service provider for, a facility may apply restraints to an incarcerated person known to be pregnant at a time otherwise prohibited by subsection a. of this section, provided a supervising staff member of, or medical service provider for, the facility makes an individualized determination that:

     (1)   the incarcerated person presents a substantial flight risk; or

     (2)   some other extraordinary medical or security circumstance dictates that the incarcerated person must be restrained to ensure the safety and security of the incarcerated person, the employees of the facility or medical facility, other incarcerated persons, or the public.

     c.     In cases when a restraint is applied pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the least restrictive type and application of restraint necessary to adequately provide for safety shall be used.  Leg or waist restraints shall not be used on any incarcerated person who is in labor.

     d.    In cases when a restraint is applied pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the incarcerated person shall be attended at all times by a staff member of, or medical service provider for, the facility who has the ability to release the restraints should such release become medically necessary.  The staff member of, or medical service provider for, the facility shall immediately remove all restraints upon request of the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional caring for the incarcerated person.

 

     3.    As used in this act:

     “Labor” means the period of time before a birth during which contractions are of sufficient frequency, intensity, and duration to bring about effacement and progressive dilatation of the cervix.  The determination of when labor has commenced shall rest solely with the medical providers of the incarcerated person.

     “Postpartum” means the period following delivery, including the entire period a woman is in the hospital after the birth of her child or children.

     “Restraints” means any physical restraint or mechanical device used to control the movement of a prisoner’s or detainee’s body and limbs, including, but not limited to, shackles, flex cuffs, soft restraints, hard metal handcuffs, a black box, Chubb cuffs, leg irons, belly chains, a security or tether chain, or a convex shield.

 

     4.    a.  No staff member of, or medical service provider for, a county correctional facility shall apply restraints to an incarcerated person known to be pregnant during any stage of labor, any pregnancy related medical distress, transport to a medical facility, or delivery, or postpartum.

     b.    A staff member of, or medical service provider for, a county correctional facility may apply restraints to an incarcerated person known to be pregnant at a time otherwise prohibited by subsection a. of this section, provided a supervising staff member of, or medical service provider for, the county correctional facility makes an individualized determination that:

     (1)   the incarcerated person presents a substantial flight risk; or

     (2)   some other extraordinary medical or security circumstance dictates that the incarcerated person must be restrained to ensure the safety and security of the incarcerated person, the employees of the county correctional facility or medical facility, other incarcerated persons, or the public.

     c.     In cases when a restraint is applied pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the least restrictive type and application of restraint necessary to adequately provide for safety shall be used.  Leg or waist restraints shall not be used on any incarcerated person who is in labor.

     d.    In cases when a restraint is applied pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the incarcerated person shall be attended at all times by a staff member of, or medical service provider for, the county correctional facility who has the ability to release the restraints should such release become medically necessary.  The staff member of, or medical service provider for, the county correctional facility shall immediately remove all restraints upon request of the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional caring for the incarcerated person.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would prohibit the restraint of women prisoners during and immediately after childbirth.  Under the bill, correctional facility staff or medical providers would not be permitted to apply restraints to a female prisoner known to be pregnant during any stage of labor, any pregnancy related medical distress, transport to a medical facility, or delivery, or postpartum.

     Restraints would be allowed if a supervising employee or medical provider makes an individualized determination that:

·         the prisoner presents a substantial flight risk; or

·         some other extraordinary medical or security circumstance dictates that the prisoner must be restrained to ensure the safety and security of the incarcerated person, the employees of the facility or medical facility, other incarcerated persons, or the public.

     In cases when restraints are permitted, the bill would require that the least restrictive type and application of restraint necessary would be used.  The bill would require that any prisoner restrained in such a manner be attended at all times by an employee of the facility or a medical provider with the ability to release the restraints if medically necessary.  The employee or medical provider would be required to immediately remove all restraints upon request of the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional caring for the incarcerated person.  The bill also specifies that it would never be permissible to use leg and waist restraints on a prisoner who is in labor.