Bill Text: FL H0779 | 2011 | Regular Session | Comm Sub

Bill Title: Restraint of Incarcerated Pregnant Women

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2011-05-07 - Indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration [H0779 Detail]

Download: Florida-2011-H0779-Comm_Sub.html
CS/HB 779

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the restraint of incarcerated pregnant
3women; providing a short title; defining terms;
4prohibiting use of restraints on a prisoner known to be
5pregnant during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery
6unless a corrections official makes an individualized
7determination that the prisoner presents an extraordinary
8circumstance requiring restraints; providing that a
9doctor, nurse, or other health care professional treating
10the prisoner may request that restraints not be used, in
11which case the corrections officer or other official
12accompanying the prisoner shall remove all restraints;
13requiring that any restraint applied must be done in the
14least restrictive manner necessary; requiring the
15corrections official to make written findings within 10
16days as to the extraordinary circumstance that dictated
17the use of restraints; restricting the use of waist,
18wrist, or leg and ankle restraints during the third
19trimester of pregnancy or when requested by a doctor,
20nurse, or other health care professional treating the
21prisoner; providing that the use of restraints at any time
22after it is known that a prisoner is pregnant must be by
23the least restrictive manner necessary in order to
24mitigate the possibility of adverse clinical consequences;
25requiring that the findings be kept on file by the
26correctional institution or detention facility for at
27least 5 years and be made available for public inspection
28under certain circumstances; authorizing any woman who is
29restrained in violation of the act to file a grievance
30within a specified period; providing that these remedies
31do not prevent a woman harmed from filing a complaint
32under any other relevant provision of federal or state
33law; directing the Department of Corrections and the
34Department of Juvenile Justice to adopt rules; requiring
35correctional institutions and detention facilities to
36inform female prisoners of the rules upon admission,
37include the policies and practices in the prisoner
38handbook, and post the policies and practices in the
39correctional institution or detention facility; requiring
40the Secretary of Corrections, the Secretary of Juvenile
41Justice, and county and municipal corrections officials to
42annually file written reports with the Executive Office of
43the Governor detailing each incident of restraint in
44violation of law or as an authorized exception; providing
45an effective date.
47     WHEREAS, restraining a pregnant prisoner can pose undue
48health risks and increase the potential for physical harm to the
49woman and her pregnancy, and
50     WHEREAS, the vast majority of female prisoners in this
51state are nonviolent offenders, and
52     WHEREAS, the impact of such harm to a pregnant woman can
53negatively affect her pregnancy, and
54     WHEREAS, freedom from physical restraints is especially
55critical during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery after
56delivery as women often need to move around during labor and
57recovery, including moving their legs as part of the birthing
58process, and
59     WHEREAS, restraints on a pregnant woman can interfere with
60the medical staff's ability to appropriately assist in
61childbirth or to conduct sudden emergency procedures, and
62     WHEREAS, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States
63Marshals Service, the American Correctional Association, the
64American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the
65American Public Health Association all oppose restraining women
66during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery because it is
67unnecessary and dangerous to a woman's health and well-being,
70Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
72     Section 1.  Shackling of incarcerated pregnant women.-
73     (1)  SHORT TITLE.-This section may be cited as the "Healthy
74Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act."
75     (2)  DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the term:
76     (a)  "Correctional institution" means any facility under
77the authority of the department or the Department of Juvenile
78Justice, a county or municipal detention facility, or a
79detention facility operated by a private entity.
80     (b)  "Corrections official" means the official who is
81responsible for oversight of a correctional institution, or his
82or her designee.
83     (c)  "Department" means the Department of Corrections.
84     (d)  "Extraordinary circumstance" means a substantial
85flight risk or some other extraordinary medical or security
86circumstance that dictates restraints be used to ensure the
87safety and security of the prisoner, the staff of the
88correctional institution or medical facility, other prisoners,
89or the public.
90     (e)  "Labor" means the period of time before a birth during
91which contractions are of sufficient frequency, intensity, and
92duration to bring about effacement and progressive dilation of
93the cervix.
94     (f)  "Postpartum recovery" means, as determined by her
95physician, the period immediately following delivery, including
96the recovery period when a woman is in the hospital or infirmary
97following birth.
98     (g)  "Prisoner" means any person incarcerated or detained
99in any correctional institution who is accused of, convicted of,
100sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of
101criminal law or the terms and conditions of parole, probation,
102community control, pretrial release, or a diversionary program.
103For purposes of this section, the term includes any woman
104detained under the immigration laws of the United States at any
105correctional institution.
106     (h)  "Restraints" means any physical restraint or
107mechanical device used to control the movement of a prisoner's
108body or limbs, including, but not limited to, flex cuffs, soft
109restraints, hard metal handcuffs, a black box, chubb cuffs, leg
110irons, belly chains, a security or tether chain, or a convex
113     (a)  Restraints may not be used on a prisoner who is known
114to be pregnant during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery,
115unless the corrections official makes an individualized
116determination that the prisoner presents an extraordinary
117circumstance, except that:
118     1.  If the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional
119treating the prisoner requests that restraints not be used, the
120corrections officer, correctional institution employee, or other
121officer accompanying the pregnant prisoner shall remove all
122restraints; and
123     2.  Under no circumstances shall leg, ankle, or waist
124restraints be used on any pregnant prisoner who is in labor or
126     (b)  If restraints are used on a pregnant prisoner pursuant
127to paragraph (a):
128     1.  The type of restraint applied and the application of
129the restraint must be done in the least restrictive manner
130necessary; and
131     2.  The corrections official shall make written findings
132within 10 days after the use of restraints as to the
133extraordinary circumstance that dictated the use of the
134restraints. These findings shall be kept on file by the
135correctional institution for at least 5 years and be made
136available for public inspection, except that the identifying
137information of a prisoner may not be made public without the
138prisoner's prior written consent.
139     (c)  During the third trimester of pregnancy, or when
140requested by the doctor, nurse, or other health care
141professional treating the pregnant prisoner:
142     1.  Waist restraints that directly constrict the area of
143pregnancy may not be used;
144     2.  If wrist restraints are used, they must be applied in
145such a way that the pregnant prisoner is able to protect herself
146in the event of a forward fall; and
147     3.  Leg and ankle restraints that restrain the legs close
148together may not be used when the prisoner is required to walk
149or stand.
150     4.  Use of leg, ankle, or waist restraints is subject to
151the provisions of subparagraph (a)2.
152     (d)  In addition to the specific requirements of paragraphs
153(a)-(c), any restraint of a prisoner who is known to be pregnant
154must be done in the least restrictive manner necessary in order
155to mitigate the possibility of adverse clinical consequences.
156     (4)  ENFORCEMENT.-
157     (a)  Notwithstanding any relief or claims afforded by
158federal or state law, any prisoner who is restrained in
159violation of this section may file a grievance with the
160correctional institution within 1 year after the incident.
161     (b)  This section does not prevent a woman harmed under
162this section from filing a complaint under any other relevant
163provision of federal or state law.
164     (5)  NOTICE TO PRISONERS.-
165     (a)  By September 1, 2011, the department and the
166Department of Juvenile Justice shall adopt rules pursuant to ss.
167120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer this
169     (b)  Each correctional institution shall inform female
170prisoners of the rules developed pursuant to paragraph (a) upon
171admission to the correctional institution, including the
172policies and practices in the prisoner handbook, and post the
173policies and practices in locations in the correctional
174institution where such notices are commonly posted and will be
175seen by female prisoners, including common housing areas and
176medical care facilities.
177     (6)  ANNUAL REPORT.-By June 30 of each year, the Secretary
178of Corrections, the Secretary of Juvenile Justice, and the
179corrections official of each municipal and county detention
180facility where a pregnant prisoner has been restrained pursuant
181to paragraph (3)(a), or in violation of subsection (3), during
182the previous year shall submit a written report to the Executive
183Office of the Governor which includes an account of every such
184instance. The written reports may not contain identifying
185information of any prisoner. Such reports shall be made
186available for public inspection.
187     Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.