Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bureau of Prisons Bans Shackling Pregnant Women

The Bureau of Prisons has barred the shackling of pregnant inmates during transportation, labor, and delivery. Recall that a recent case out of Arkansas held that such acts did not violate the 8th amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. That was a state law, and this is a federal rule, so it wouldn't have applied in the particular case (unless it changed the calculus behind the ever-shifting "cruel and unusual" standard), but it does give human dignity advocates some desperately needed legal momentum.

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