Gov. Brewer to County and State Corrections Officials: No More Shackling Pregnant Inmates

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This is the text of an email I got from Anjali Abraham, the Public Policy Director of the ACLU of Arizona.

As you’ve probably realized, I don’t usually get to report good news about the state of our civil liberties these days. But this time, I have wonderful news to report. All you spring training fans—get ready to enjoy the thrill of crossing home plate (legislatively, that is).

Governor Brewer has signed our SB 1184, a bill that limits the ability of county and state corrections officials to shackle pregnant inmates. Under this bill, corrections officials cannot shackle pregnant inmates during transportation to a facility for delivery, during labor and delivery, and during postpartum recovery. This unconstitutional practice is extremely dangerous to both mother and child. The ACLU of Arizona has pursued this legislation for years, and 2012 turned out to be our year. And with the signing of SB 1184, Arizona becomes just the 15th state in the nation to effectively ban this practice by law.

We fight some really tough battles at the state Capitol. We’re not always as successful as we’d like to be. But the signing of SB 1184 is an absolute home run. Not one legislator voted against this bill—not one. And we can be very proud that our state is just one of fifteen that has taken a lead on this critical issue. Victory feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

Many people helped us shepherd this vital piece of legislation through the process and to home plate (i.e., the governor’s desk). Please take a moment to thank some of them.

• Your legislators, who voted for the bill. If you’re not sure who your legislators are, follow this link:

• Senator Linda Gray, who sponsored the bill: 926-3376

• Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the bill. Follow this link to contact the governor’s office directly:

In liberty—and today, in success

See, Arizona isn’t always crazy.

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