The American Civil Liberties Union and a church-based group called the Family Foundation don’t agree about many things, but they’ve found common ground on a surprising issue involving prison inmates.
State prisons routinely handcuff inmates when they’re taken outside prison walls, and jails may use shackles to prevent escape, but there’s a growing chorus of protest over such treatment for pregnant women. Some have been forced to deliver babies with their ankles in chains, but Abigail Turner – a lawyer for the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville says that may soon change.
“The Board of Corrections has passed anti-shackling regulations, and they have been approved by the governor to go before the public, and so there’s a 60-day comment period that begins the end of this month.”
In a press release, the conservative grass roots Family Foundation urges its members to weigh-in supporting the change – and noting that the issue has produced an unlikely coalition, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, the Virginia Council of Churches and the Prison Fellowship.