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Modern Day Chain Gangs: Shackling Pregnant Mothers in Georgia Prisons and Jails

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posted on May, 13 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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Modern Day Chain Gangs: Shackling Pregnant Mothers in Georgia Prisons and Jails



Written by Tonya Williams for RHRealityCheck.org – News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

“I cannot imagine a place where one might stand and have a clearer view of concentrated disadvantage based on race, class, and gender inequality in the country then from inside the walls of women’s prisons.” – Beth E. Richie

When Gwen got locked up for a minor non-violent drug offense, she didn’t know she was pregnant. Just days into her confinement, she began to experience cramping, severe abdominal pains and bleeding. She immediately tried to alert the guards about her condition. After what seemed like hours of pleading and begging for medical assistance, an officer finally came to take Gwen to the infirmary. She was eventually rushed to the hospital. By the end of her brief stint in a Fulton County jail, she would discover she was pregnant, miscarry, and as a final illustration of neglect and callous disregard, she was shackled by the wrists and ankles as the physician removed the remains of her stillborn fetus from her womb.

While Gwen’s story is one of the most egregious stories of state-condoned reproductive oppression that I have documented, incarcerated pregnant women across the state of Georgia have been and continue to be subjected to shackling by the wrists, ankles or around the belly on their way to the hospital, during labor and delivery and in recovery. Dehumanized, shamed by the visible signs of their bondage, and oftentimes unable to receive the holistic and essential pre- and postnatal care and nutrition needed, pregnant women in Georgia must confront a painful reality. They have become a part of the modern day chain gang.

Georgia is one of more than forty states that continue to permit the use of restraints on incarcerated pregnant women during transport, labor, delivery and recovery.

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You know I understand the need to keep prisoners, prisoners but seriously how many women are going to escape or god knows what while in labor....?

I mean really, this is upsetting to me.




posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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This is disturbing.
If i was one of the guards
i would make sure that women
at least is let go out of prison.
her baby died. why push her off the edge?



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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Sorry, not buying this freakin story.

If she didn't know she was pregnant, how were the prison officials supposed to know?

Maybe she'll think twice about doing drugs, whether the act of doing so was non-violent or not.

One prisoner is the same as another, in that they are all prisoners.

Don't do the crime, if you don't want to spend the time!

edit typo

[edit on 13-5-2010 by Blanca Rose]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by Crossfate
got locked up for a minor non-violent drug offense


We really need to quite prosecuting consensual crimes such as non-violent drug offenses.

I agree that shackling pregnant women is inhumane. But right now in Atlanta we have an escaped arrestee on the loose now because he was transported to the hospital complaining of chest pains, overcame the authorities and disappeared.

How do we address the issue more humanely?

[edit on 13-5-2010 by traditionaldrummer]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Yes, and I agree, but look at it from the standpoint of those who put her where she was at the time.

She was doing something illegal, and yet it wasn't violent at the time. The police have no idea, since this person was doing something illegal, if they might or might not become violent. Who's to say what this person might do, if and when their drugs wear off?

The safety of law inforcement comes first. They are only doing their jobs, and criminals, despite what the degree of the crime is, all have to be treated the same way, unless tax payers want sepparate facilities for non-violent, versus violent offenders.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by Blanca Rose
Sorry, not buying this freakin story.

If she didn't know she was pregnant, how were the prison officials supposed to know?

Maybe she'll think twice about doing drugs, whether the act of doing so was non-violent or not.

One prisoner is the same as another, in that they are all prisoners.

Don't do the crime, if you don't want to spend the time!

edit typo



What a humanitarian you are!! What makes you think that only guilty people end up in jail/ have you not read the statistics? Innocent people are released every day after some good lawyer finds out that the cops lied...or planted evidence..and falsely arrested and perjured themselves...and it happen a LOT!!

I can cite case after case of bad cops admitting in court that they FRAMED the innocent, and worse...and so to assume that all people in jail are guilty is insane. I can only hope that someday YOU are the victim of a police set up...then you will sing a differnt tune, guaranteed.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Blanca Rose
The safety of law inforcement comes first.


Agreed. Is there a method of insuring the safety of law enforcement while transporting incarcerated pregnant women to an infirmary or hospital? I don't know but if there is one shouldn't we consider its use?



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:27 AM
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Well... Ah figure if'n these folks wanna stay offa the chain gang, maybe they shouldn't be out sellin' meth or doin' some other bad thangs that'll put 'em on thar. Plenty of people ain't on the chain gang. How do you reckon that works? Them people mind their P's and Q's.

Time in the box. That usually gits their attention.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by richierich


What a humanitarian you are!! What makes you think that only guilty people end up in jail/ have you not read the statistics? Innocent people are released every day after some good lawyer finds out that the cops lied...or planted evidence..and falsely arrested and perjured themselves...and it happen a LOT!!


It isn't about being a humanitarian. It's about keeping a public servant safe, that is paid out of your tax dollars. Do you have any idea how many people who are jail guards are attacked, by nuts, people out of their minds on drugs, or just plain nuts? I am asking because I have friends who are prison guards, and it happens quite more often than what you propose here, guaranteed. They don't need to take chances, and are only following orders, in regards to how their clients are treated. They are not even given the whole story on each prisoner. They follow proceedure. It has nothing to do, once again with being a humanitarian.


I can cite case after case of bad cops admitting in court that they FRAMED the innocent, and worse...and so to assume that all people in jail are guilty is insane. I can only hope that someday YOU are the victim of a police set up...then you will sing a differnt tune, guaranteed.


And I know from personal experience, by way of people who work in law inforcement, and at prisons, how often they are attacked by prisoners.

edit to add

Prisoners far outweigh the number of guards who work in law enforcement. They don't have eyes in the back of their heads, or extra arms to take care of all the prisoners. They are outnumbered by both non violent, and violent prisoners, all the time. Sorry, but you think people who are in the system deserve some sort of humane treatment, because they might not be guilty. It's not the way the world works!

[edit on 13-5-2010 by Blanca Rose]



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


There is no way, really. Unfortunately, a prisoner is a prisoner, no matter what the reason is. They all have to be treated the same.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Blanca Rose
reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


There is no way, really. Unfortunately, a prisoner is a prisoner, no matter what the reason is. They all have to be treated the same.



Do they though? I mean, a pregnant prisoner is not exactly the same as a non-pregnant prisoner. The article seemed to imply that such equal treatment cost her a miscarriage.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer


Do they though? I mean, a pregnant prisoner is not exactly the same as a non-pregnant prisoner. The article seemed to imply that such equal treatment cost her a miscarriage.


But, the article says that this particular person didn't even know she was pregnant. So, tell me, how is law enforcement supposed to know?

I am sure, if she had a baby bump, she might have been treated with a little more of a kid glove, but, she didn't even know.



posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:52 AM
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The author tried to imply that the shackling caused the miscarriage but the facts show otherwise. The prisoner in question was cramping and bleeding before transport to the infirmary and then the hospital. I have several friends who work at detention centers and GA state prison in reidsville. They will tell you flat out, that women prisoners are far more conniving, sneaky and devious than male prisoners. They are also more likely to start fights with fellow prisoners and guards alike. I also know a woman who was incarcerated for 5 years for manufacturing meth. She happens to be the mother of my child. She escaped custody 3 times while in prison being transported to hospitals for "fake illnesses or problems"
If you don't want to give birth to your child shackled to a bed, then don't go to prison. Its really pretty simple. Besides, if the shackles were really a problem wouldn't there be many more complications and miscarriages?



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