Mass NOW celebrates the passage of the Anti-Shackling Bill
Governor Patrick signed the bill into law this afternoon
Boston– The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Mass NOW) applauds the signing of the “Act Relative to Prevent Shackling and Promote Safe Pregnancies for Female Inmates” into law today as a victory for women and families in Massachusetts.
This law establishes minimum standards for the treatment and medical care of incarcerated women, promotes safe and healthy pregnancy outcomes, prohibits shackling of women during childbirth, and ensures that release planning includes child custody and basic family planning information and services.
As a core member of the Massachusetts Anti-Shackling coalition, Mass NOW joins our partner organizations to commend the leadership of the Bill’s co-sponsors, Representative Kay Khan and State Senator Karen Spilka, for their tireless leadership to make sure every woman, regardless of her status in life, receives the dignity and respect she deserves.
“In a victory for Massachusetts women and families, we have become the 19th state to outlaw this cruel and inhumane practice,” said Katie Hayden, Policy and Operations Manager for Mass NOW. “Mass Now has been vigilantly working to pass this bill for more than eight years, participating in various coalitions over that time since Rep. Khan started filing versions of this bill in 2001. The success of our efforts to pass the Anti-Shackling bill belongs to the activists, coalition members, and inmates who stood up and joined their voices to make it clear that this bill was a priority and this practice was unacceptable.”