Va. Prisons Board to Vote on Shackling Pregnant Women Rules

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia Board of Corrections is set to vote on regulations to restrict the use of restraints on pregnant jail inmates.

The regulations are on the agenda for the board's meeting Wednesday in Richmond. A planned vote last month was postponed to give the board more time to study the proposal.

Inmate advocates and law enforcement officials have been working with board members for months to draft language both sides can live with. The regulations generally would allow pregnant prisoners to be restrained only during transport outside the jail.

Even then, they could only be handcuffed in front unless they pose a danger or flight risk. The use of restraints during childbirth also would be severely restricted.

Legislation to restrict shackling of pregnant inmates died in the 2012 General Assembly.

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