Lawmakers question chained with child policy

(March 30, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Legislators who also are mothers say they will try to change a Department of Correction policy that requires pregnant women to be chained before and after childbirth. Prison officials say women aren't in shackles as they deliver their children, but department policy calls for them to have one leg chained to a bed until the "final stages of active labor." A state inmate filed a grievance challenging the policy. Nineteen of the 700 imprisoned women in Arkansas gave birth in the past year. Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said the department has not been considering a change in the policy. Some legislators want the department to review the policy.