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Governor Deval Patrick signed an anti-shackling bill into law on May 15, 2014, making Massachusetts the 21st state to abolish the harmful and brutal practice of restraining incarcerated women who are pregnant, in labor, or in the postpartum period.

The law, St. 2014, c.103, “An Act to Prevent Shackling and Promote Safe Pregnancies for Female Inmates, “also takes great strides towards establishing a “minimum level of care that must be afforded to pregnant inmates in county correctional facilities.”

While previous anti-shackling rules only applied to state prisons, the new law covers all corrections facilities in Massachusetts.

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