Code of Virginia

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

Article 2.2. Treatment and Control of Prisoners Known to Be Pregnant.

§ 53.1-40.11. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Postpartum recovery" means the eight-week period, or longer as determined by the health care professional responsible for the health and safety of the prisoner, following childbirth.

"Restraints" means any mechanical device, medication, physical intervention, or hands-on hold to prevent an individual from moving her body.

"Restrictive housing" means the same as that term is defined in § 53.1-39.1.

"Solitary confinement" means isolation of a prisoner from the general population through confinement to a cell or other place for 22 or more hours within a 24-hour period.

2020, c. 526.

§ 53.1-40.12. Treatment of prisoners known to be pregnant.

A. The following restraints shall not be used on any prisoner known to be pregnant upon notification or diagnosis of the pregnancy and for the duration of the pregnancy, unless there is an individualized determination that the prisoner will harm herself, the fetus, the newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk: (i) leg restraints, (ii) handcuffs or other wrist restraints, except to restrain the prisoner's wrists in front of her, or (iii) restraints connected to other inmates. If there is an individualized determination that the prisoner will harm herself, the fetus, the newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk and restraints are used, such restraints shall be the least restrictive possible.

B. No restraints shall be used on any prisoner known to be pregnant while in labor or during delivery unless there is an individualized determination that the prisoner will harm herself, the fetus, the newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk. If there is an individualized determination that the prisoner will harm herself, the fetus, the 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 on any prisoner known to be pregnant while in labor or during delivery 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 the justification for restraining the prisoner.

C. No employee of the Department other than a licensed health care professional shall conduct body cavity searches of prisoners known to be pregnant unless the employee has a reasonable belief that the prisoner is concealing contraband. In such case, the employee shall submit a written report to the warden or other official in charge of the state correctional facility within 72 hours following the body cavity search, containing the justification for the search and what contraband was found, if any.

D. The Department shall not place any prisoner known to be pregnant in restrictive housing or solitary confinement unless an employee of the Department has a reasonable belief that the inmate will harm herself, the fetus, the 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.

E. The Department shall ensure that prisoners known to be pregnant are provided sufficient food and dietary supplements as ordered by a licensed physician or physician staff member to meet generally accepted prenatal nutritional guidelines for pregnant women.

F. The Department shall not assign any prisoner known to be pregnant to any bed that is elevated more than three feet from the floor of the facility.

2020, c. 526.

§ 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.

§ 53.1-40.14. Reporting requirement.

The warden or other official in charge of a state correctional facility shall compile a monthly summary of all written reports received pursuant to §§ 53.1-25.1, 53.1-40.12, and 53.1-40.13 and shall submit the summary to the Director each month.

2020, c. 526.

§ 53.1-40.15. Training of correctional facility employees regarding pregnant inmates.

For correctional officers, and juvenile correctional officers who may have contact with pregnant inmates, the compulsory minimum entry-level training standards established pursuant to § 9.1-102 shall include training on the general care of pregnant women, the impact of restraints on pregnant inmates and fetuses, the impact of being placed in restrictive housing or solitary confinement on pregnant inmates, and the impact of body cavity searches on pregnant inmates.

2020, c. 526.

§ 53.1-40.16. Education for pregnant prisoners.

The Department shall provide, to the extent practicable, educational programming for prisoners known to be pregnant related to (i) prenatal care, (ii) pregnancy-specific hygiene, (iii) parenting skills, (iv) the impact of alcohol and drugs on the fetus, (v) postpartum recovery health, and (vi) the general health of children.

2020, c. 526.