Massachusetts Anti Shackling Law: Update

The 2014 Massachusetts Anti-Shackling law is one of the most comprehensive in the country, but many jails and prisons in Massachusetts are failing to comply. PBP has been monitoring the law for almost two years and documenting violations in both policy and practice with our ally, Prisoners Legal Service.

PBP is advocating for the passage of “An Act to ensure compliance with the anti-shackling law for pregnant incarcerated women” H. 3679.

The new bill does four things:

  • Defines postpartum recovery as a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • Requires that jails/prisons report any use of restraint during pregnancy within 48 hrs, and that an annual report will be made public on the use of restraint during pregnancy.
  • Add EMT’s to list of medical professionals with authority to direct prison/jail staff to remove restraints during labor.
  • Mandates that jails/prisons train their staff on the law.