State Prison System to Continue Keeping Women Chained in Labor

MARCH 22 - Posted at 7:34 a.m. CDT

NEWPORT, AR - The Arkansas Department of Correction says it has no plans to change its policy of keeping women in labor in chains.

The shackles are taken off while female prisoners give birth, but they are put back on after the delivery is over.

30-year-old inmate Shawanna Nelson is complaining about the policy.  She was taken from prison to a hospital to give birth last September.  Nelson said it was degrading to be chained while her contractions were getting closer.

State prisons spokeswoman Dina Tyler says the policy is in place to prevent escapes.  Tyler says the chains can be removed if ordered by a doctor.

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