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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2019 09:30 AM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta
To: All Senate members
Subject: Dignity and Safety for Incarcerated Women
Based on the advice of the American Conservative Union Foundation and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, I will soon introduce a revised version of Senator Stewart Greenleaf’s Senate Bill 1252 of the 2017-2018 legislative session.

The bill will establish guidelines intended to protect the health and safety of pregnant inmates. Safety measures will include limits on shackling and body cavity searches, as well as the provision of appropriate prenatal nutrition and a bed not elevated more than three feet from the floor. The bill will ensure that female inmates have access to menstrual hygiene products at no cost to the inmate.

My legislation will include an important educational component. First, the bill will require the Departments of Corrections and Human Services to develop training for correctional staff regarding the care of pregnant inmates, the impact of restraints and restrictive housing on pregnant inmates and fetuses, and the impact of invasive searches on pregnant inmates. Second, the bill will require educational programming for female inmates about prenatal care and parenting skills. Finally, as evidence mounts that human traffickers target vulnerable women in jails and prisons, the bill will require educational programming about how traffickers recruit female offenders and the resources available to victims of human trafficking.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to protect the basic dignity and safety of women in prison.

Introduced as SB1275