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Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2011 Nov;12(4):254-6. doi: 10.1177/1527154411424615. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Who will speak for me? Advocating for pregnant women in prison.

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  • 1University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA.


The 1999 publication of a report by Amnesty International on the use of shackles and restraints with pregnant incarcerated women by correctional facilities in the United States was an attempt to highlight this ongoing practice. Despite the initial outrage expressed in many professional arenas, it continues in many states. This commentary provides a snapshot of incarcerated pregnant women and briefly discusses the risks associated with the use of shackles and restraints. Specific strategies describing how to advocate for this invisible and vulnerable population are provided with the hope that more nurses will be the voice for these women in correctional institutions, hospitals and in state government.

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