RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed regulations to restrict the use of restraints on pregnant jail inmates.
The Virginia Board of Corrections approved the regulations after months of negotiation between inmate advocates and law enforcement officials. The state's regulatory website shows McAuliffe signed the regulations Saturday. They take effect May 8 after a final public comment period.
American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia executive director Claire Gastanaga said Thursday that the organization is grateful to McAuliffe for ensuring that the dignity and safety of pregnant inmates will be protected.
The regulations allow pregnant prisoners to be handcuffed only in front when being transported outside the jail. They would not be restrained at all during labor and delivery. Exceptions could be made for inmates who are a danger or a flight risk.