Walker Lauds Final Legislative Approval Of Bill Protecting Children, Vulnerable Inmates

May 4, 2018

Rep. Toni Walker applauded the unanimous vote by the House of Representatives Thursday, giving final passage to bipartisan legislation that aims to bring fairness and dignity to incarcerated women, especially those who are pregnant, and transgender inmates.

“The important thing is everybody is a human being and making sure that women and children are safe no matter where they are. This bill maintains that and provides them with the necessary healthcare and affords them the ability to be able to raise their children in an appropriate setting until they are mature citizens,” Walker said.

The legislation, Senate Bill 13 – An Act Concerning Fair Treatment of Incarcerated Women, will:

  • Prohibit shackling of pregnant inmates during labor
  • Require the DOC to provide female inmates with feminine hygiene products at no cost
  • Require DOC to establish child friendly visitation policies
  • Prohibit non-medical staff of the opposite gender from viewing or interfering with incarcerated women engaged in personal activities such as undressing, using toilet facilities, or showering
  • Require DOC to establish and provide parenting support as well as pre-natal and post-partum services and supports
  • Require DOC, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Court Support Services Division of the judicial branch to utilize a gender responsible approach to risk assessment strategies that recognizes the unique risks and needs of female offenders
  • Enhance requirements for gender-specific and trauma-related trainings for correctional staff
  • Establish standards of treatment for inmates who have a gender identity that differs from their assigned sex at birth.