Bill Summary for H 594 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Apr 5 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 594 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 5, 2017
AN ACT TO ENSURE HEALTHY PREGNANCIES FOR FEMALE PRISONERS AND DETAINEES.
Intro. by Fisher, Cunningham, Insko.

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Bill summary

Identical to S 639, filed on 4/4/17.

Enacts new Artice 84C, Treatment of Pregnant Prisoners and Detainees, in GS Chapter 15A. 

Prohibits a correctional institution (defined as any unit of the State prison system, local confinement facility, juvenile detention facility, or other entity under the authority of any State or local law enforcement agency that has the power to detain or restrain a person under the laws of this State) from using restraints on a prisoner or detainee known to be pregnant, including during labor, transport to a medical facility, delivery, and postpartum recovery, unless the corrections official determines that the prisoner or detainee presents an extraordinary circumstance. Defines an extraordinary circumstance as a substantial flight risk or some other extraordinary medical or security circumstance that dictates restraints be used to ensure the safety and security of the prisoner or detainee, the staff of the correctional institution or medical facility, other prisoners or detainees, or the public.

Specifies that, despite a determination that there are extraordinary circumstances, if the health professional treating the prisoner or detainee requests that restraints not be used, the corrections officer accompanying the prisoner or detainee must immediately remove all restraints. Also prohibits using leg or waist restraints on any prisoner or detainee who is in labor or delivery under any circumstances.

Requires that if restraints are used the type of restraint applied and the application of the restraint must be accomplished in the least restrictive manner necessary, and requires the corrections official to make written findings within 10 days as to the extraordinary circumstance that dictated the use of the restraints. Require the findings  to be kept on file for at least five years and be made available for public inspection. 

Requires all correctional facilities in the State to develop the rules mandated under this act within 30 days of the date this act becomes law and to inform prisoners and detainees within their custody of those rules within 60 days of the date this act becomes law.

Appropriates $250,000 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Public Safety to be allocated to policy implementation, education, and training of the procedures outlined in the act.

 

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