The ACLU of Connecticut is proud to stand up for incarcerated women’s health, human rights, Constitutional rights, and dignity by supporting S.B. 13. Currently, Connecticut law does not prevent the Department of Correction from shackling incarcerated women during pregnancy or labor, and state restrictions on the number and type of menstrual products freely available to incarcerated women force many to either buy supplies themselves or do without. It is inhumane, unjust, and potentially dangerous to shackle people while they are pregnant or in labor and to deny people adequate menstrual supplies. This bill would:
- prevent the state from shackling incarcerated women during pregnancy or labor
- require the state to provide incarcerated women with sufficient menstrual supplies
- create family-centric visitation policies
- ensure incarcerated women are able to shower and perform other bodily functions without non-medical staff of the opposite sex viewing their bodies
- establish prenatal and postpartum support, including lactation policies, for pregnant and postpartum incarcerated women
- enhance requirements for gender-specific and trauma-related trainings for staff at correctional facilities, and
- require the DOC to develop and implement a policy regarding incarcerated people who are transgender.
Shackling people during labor is inhumane and dangerous. Failing to provide incarcerated people who menstruate with adequate menstrual supplies is degrading and potentially dangerous. To date, more than 35 state and local organizations have signed on to a statement of support for the bill.