A measure to ban the shackling of pregnant women gained traction in both the House and the Senate this week. The measure, which would restrict the use of shackles on pregnant and postpartum women, was added as an amendment to HB 2026 by Rep. Jean Evans (R-Manchester). The bill, which pertained to the separation of inmates in jail, was third read on Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate.
Meanwhile, the Senate also added the measure as an amendment to SB 870. Sen. Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) offered the shackling amendment to a bill about emergency medical services. The bill received first-round approval by Senate.
The MCC supports the measure because shackling can cause injury to the woman and her child during childbirth and postpartum. There is little evidence of women being a flight risk during this time.