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H.306

AN ACT RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION OF INDIVIDUALS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE STATE

The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 33 V.S.A. § 5541, by adding a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d)  It is the policy of the state of Vermont that mechanical restraints are not routinely used on children subject to this chapter unless circumstances dictate that such methods are necessary.

Second:  In Sec. 2, 18 V.S.A. § 7511, by adding a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

(d)  It is the policy of the state of Vermont that mechanical restraints are not routinely used on persons subject to this chapter unless circumstances dictate that such methods are necessary.

Third:  In Sec. 3, by adding a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

(c)  The department for children and families, the department of health, the department of corrections, the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, the office of the defender general, and the court administrator’s office shall meet to discuss protocols for the secure transport of children and pregnant inmates who are in state custody and develop strategies for reducing the frequency and necessity of secure transports using mechanical restraints.  The group shall provide the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare with a letter detailing its findings and recommendations no later than January 15, 2007.

Fourth:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 4 to read as follows:

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 801a is added to read:

§ 801a.  PREGNANT INMATES

(a)  It shall be the policy of the state of Vermont to respect the unique health issues associated with a pregnant inmate.  The department of corrections shall not routinely restrain pregnant inmates who are beyond their first trimester of pregnancy in the same manner as other inmates, recognizing that to do so might pose undue health risks for the mother and unborn child.

(b)  The commissioner of the department of corrections shall ensure that all reasonable and appropriate measures consistent with public safety are made to transport a pregnant inmate in a manner which:

(1)  prevents physical and psychological trauma;

(2)  respects the privacy of the individual; and

(3)  represents the least restrictive means necessary for the safety of the inmate, medical and correctional personnel, and the public.

(c)  Unless the inmate presents a substantial flight risk or other extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise, mechanical restraints of any kind shall not be used on a pregnant inmate after she has been declared by an attending health care practitioner to be in active labor.  The inmate shall remain unrestrained after delivery while in recovery at the hospital.  If restraints are used while the inmate is in labor or in the hospital during recovery after delivery, the commissioner of corrections shall make written findings as to the reasons why mechanical restraints were necessary to prevent escape or to ensure the safety of the inmate, medical and correctional personnel, or the public.

(d)  The department shall provide personnel as may be necessary to supervise the inmate to and from the hospital and during her stay at the hospital.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us