updates 2015: anti-shackling

Together, we MONITORED violations of the anti-shackling law & TOOK ACTION.

  • We CONNECTED all in the jail where we work with legal partners in the event that rights were infringed.
  • We became so WELL KNOWN that we were called to assist people birthing at other facilities across the state! Advised all and introduced our legal partner, Prisoners’ Legal Services, which is now holding a jail in eastern MA accountable for shackling a woman in labor.
  • We PUBLISHED A PUBLIC WHISTLE-BLOWING STATEMENT, signed by our anti-shackling coalition, listing the many violations of the law and demanding that MA shape up.
  • We helped to CREATE A REVISION of the law to make it more robust.
  • We GATHERED PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES OF PREGNANCY IN JAIL to uncover violations of the new law.

“I took a shower after the birth and they put me back in bed and shackled me to the bed by my left ankle. I said it was against the law, but the female C.O. said she had never heard of that. She called the jail and whoever she talked to also said they never heard of it. So I stayed shackled to the bed.”

“It’s like that show Punk’d on TV, they put up signs in the kitchen about how many fresh fruits and vegetables we should eat every day… then serve us food that doesn’t have any of that!”

“I hate being pregnant, being hungry and only having access to an extra cheese sandwich. Knowing what I do about being pregnant I know I should be eating more fresh vegetables.”