Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Women in Chains

This is horrible. The Media Awareness Project archived this disturbing Salon piece on the treatment of pregnant inmates who are incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes.
Anna ( not her real name ), a prisoner at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, Calif., spent the last two weeks of her pregnancy in preterm labor, shackled to a hospital bed. If she needed to use the bathroom, or even turn over, she had to beg permission of the officer on duty.

...women who return to prison from the hospital days after having Caesarean sections are routinely denied pain medication and even antibiotics.
Furthermore, these women are denied proper pre-natal care and nutrition. You may say so what - they broke the law, but their babies didn't and it's those innocents who suffer the most under this hideous policy. As the article points out, once we incarcerate the mother, it's our responsibility to care for the child.

We have failed to do so and it's these same children who, lacking proper care and upbringing will form the next generation of addicts and inmates. If we seriously want to end this destructive cycle, here is a good place to begin.


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