Lawmakers advocate for the fair treatment of incarcerated women

March 29, 2018

A group of advocates gathered at the state Capitol to call on legislators to respect incarcerated women’s health, human rights and dignity by passing Senate Bill 13, “An Act Concerning Fair Treatment of Incarcerated Women.”

The bill, which comes on the heels of a month in which a pregnant woman was forced to give birth in her cell at York Correctional Facility, 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; and establish prenatal and postpartum support, including lactation policies, for pregnant and postpartum incarcerated women.

Currently, Connecticut law does not prevent the state 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.