AN ACT TO CODIFY THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY POLICY THAT PROHIBITS THE RESTRAINT OF PREGNANT PRISONERS AND DETAINEES AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Enacts new Article 87, 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, postpartum recovery, and postpartum period unless the corrections official determines that the prisoner or detainee presents an extraordinary circumstance. Defines an extraordinary circumstance as when there has been an individualized determination that restraints are necessary to prevent the woman from injuring herself or others and cannot reasonably be restrained by other means, including the use of additional personnel. Prohibits using leg or waist restraints on any prisoner or detainee who is in labor or delivery under any circumstances.
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.
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. Requires the findings to be kept on file for at least five years and be made available for public inspection.
Requires correctional facilities to inform prisoners and detainees of the Article's provisions.
Appropriates $250,000 for 2019-20 and 2020-21 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. Effective July 1, 2019.
Effective October 1, 2019.
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