A nurse who is a state legislator says she’s satisfied state prison officials have a new policy in place that no longer requires the shackling of a female prisoner during the final trimester of a pregnancy and the delivery of her baby. Representative Linda Miller, a Republican from Bettendorf, says earlier this week she was able to review the “confidential” details of the new Department of Corrections policy.
“Our goal was always to solve the problem,” Miller says. “Not necessarily is it necessary to pass legislation to do that.”
Miller says if she gets an inkling something’s awry, she will revive her legislation, but Miller says she believes the agency now is following the “best practices” of dealing with a pregnant prisoner.
“I have the bill in my desk drawer,” Miller says, “and if it doesn’t look like that’s true, I have something to bring forward immediately.”
Miller is chair of the House Human Resources Committee and she held a public hearing on this issue in early February. A state senator who’s been working on the same issue plans to forge ahead with a bill yet this year that stipulates in state law that shackling pregnant prisoners is forbidden — and the baby’s father may be present during the delivery.