Dignity Act Connecticut

Governor's Bill No. 13: Fair Treatment for Incarcerated Women

Barring prison staff from shackling pregnant inmates, or those who have recently given birth, unless prison staff can document it is necessary for safety. Locating a correction officer within the room of an inmate in labor in a way to best ensure her privacy, and requiring the correction department to try its best to have a female officer stationed with the laboring inmate.Giving new mothers who are incarcerated the opportunity to pump and store their breast milk. Giving moms with infants in neonatal intensive care units the opportunity to regularly visit their children. Giving pregnant inmates copies of the department’s policies to ensure they know their rights. Housing inmates upon release from the hospital in a medical or mental health housing unit until discharged by a licensed health care provider. No longer charging incarcerated women for an appropriate amount of tampons and sanitary napkins. Establishing special policies for incarcerated mothers regarding visitation by their children, physical contact and frequency of visits. Requiring male staff to announce their presence when entering a woman’s cell and bar male staff from observing women showering, using the restroom or changing clothes, except in exigent circumstances.

Bill Status:  The bill had its first public hearing on March 28th, 2018. Check on the bill’s latest status here.

Bill Authors: 

  • Sen. Martin M. Looney, 11th Dist.
  • Sen. Bob Duff, 25th Dist.
  • Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, 30th Dist.
  • Rep. Matthew Ritter, 1st Dist.

Co-Sponsors: Rep. Geraldo C. Reyes, 75th Dist., Rep. Terry B. Adams, 146th Dist., Rep. Patricia A. Dillon, 92nd Dist.Rep. Robyn A. Porter, 94th Dist., Sen. Gary A. Winfield, 10th Dist., Rep. Andrew M. Fleischmann, 18th Dist., Rep. Patricia Billie Miller, 145th Dist., Rep. Charlie L. Stallworth, 126th Dist., Sen. Terry B. Gerratana, 6th Dist., Sen. Terry B. Gerratana, 6th Dist., Rep. Jeff Currey, 11th Dist., Sen. Douglas McCrory, 2nd Dist., Rep. Joshua Malik Hall, 7th Dist.

Governor Dannel Malloy's Statement:

"This bill addresses several issues unique to the female prison population in an effort to help reduce recidivism among this group of inmates. This proposal ensures that incarcerated women who are pregnant are provided counseling and written materials, receive appropriate medical care throughout, and after, their pregnancy, and prohibits the inhumane practice of shackling during labor. Additionally, the bill ensures all women receive feminine hygiene products at no cost, and ensures that staff are properly trained in gender-specific and trauma-related issues faced by female inmates."

Formerly Incarcerated Women Leading the Charge

 
Taiheba Bain
Women Against Mass Incarceration
 

Co-Sponsoring Organizations

Women Against Mass Incarceration

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