Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Chapter 2. State Correctional Facilities
12/3/2022

§ 53.1-40.13. Treatment of prisoners during postpartum recovery.

A. No restraints shall be used on any prisoner who is in postpartum recovery, unless an employee of the Department has a reasonable belief that the prisoner will harm herself, her newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk. If there is a reasonable belief that the prisoner will harm herself, her newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk and restraints are used, such restraints shall be the least restrictive possible. In such case, the employee ordering the use of restraints shall submit a written report to the warden or other official in charge of the state correctional facility within 72 hours following the use of restraints, containing justification for restraining the prisoner.

B. The Department shall not place any prisoner who has given birth in the past 30 days and is in postpartum recovery in restrictive housing or solitary confinement unless an employee of the Department has a reasonable belief that the inmate will harm herself, her newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk. In such case, the employee authorizing the placement of the inmate in restrictive housing or solitary confinement shall submit a written report to the warden or other official in charge of the state correctional facility within 72 hours following the transfer, containing the justification for confining the prisoner in restrictive housing or solitary confinement.

C. Following the delivery of a newborn child by a prisoner, the Department shall permit the newborn child to remain with the mother for 72 hours unless a licensed medical or mental health care professional has a reasonable belief that the newborn child remaining with the mother poses a health or safety risk to the newborn child. During the 72 hours, the Department shall make available the necessary nutritional and hygiene products to care for the newborn child, including diapers, and the necessary postpartum recovery products for the mother. If the prisoner qualifies as indigent, such products shall be provided without cost.

2020, c. 526.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.