JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House passed a bill Tuesday that's designed to help women who are pregnant or give birth while in jail or prison.
House Bill 196 is called the “Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act.”
It says leg restraints and handcuffs could not be used on an inmate who is pregnant or in labor unless a jail or prison employee believes she may harm herself, the fetus or any other person, or unless she is believed to be a flight risk.
The bill also says pregnant inmates must be provided proper nutrition and dietary supplements, and they may not be assigned to upper-level bunk beds.
After an inmate gives birth, the baby could remain with her for three days. House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Nick Bain, a Republican from Corinth, said the practice now is to immediately take the baby out of the jail or prison.
The bill passed the House 115-0. It will go to the Senate for more debate.