208194-1:n:10/01/2020:LK/tj LSA2020-1916




HB36
By Representative Hall
RFD Public Safety and Homeland Security
Rd 1 02-FEB-21


SYNOPSIS:The federal First Step Act established guidelines for the treatment of prisoners, including procedures for the use of restraints on pregnant federal prisoners.
 This bill would adopt the federal procedures relating to use of restraints on pregnant prisoners as state law, and would extend the application of those procedures to arrest, jail, and transport settings as soon as law enforcement is made aware of a pregnancy.

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

Relating to prisoners; to adopt federal standards and recommendations relating to the use of restraints on pregnant detainees in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections or law enforcement at the county or municipal level.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. For the purposes of this act, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) COMMISSIONER. The Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections.

(2) CORRECTIONS OFFICER. An official of the Alabama Department of Corrections or the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency or any law enforcement officer, including transport personnel.

(3) CUSTODY. The period of detention, confinement, or transportation of a detainee by the department or a corrections officer.

(4) DEPARTMENT. The Alabama Department of Corrections.

(5) DETAINEE. An individual who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment pursuant to a conviction for a criminal offense, or an individual in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections or a corrections officer, including transport personnel, after conviction or while pending trial.

(6) POSTPARTUM RECOVERY. The 12-week period, or longer as determined by the health care professional responsible for the health and safety of a detainee, following delivery. This term shall include the entire period that the detainee is in the hospital or infirmary following delivery.

(7) PROFESSIONAL GUIDELINES. Guidelines affirmed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Nurse Midwives, American Medical Association, National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and Federal Bureau of Prisons regarding the use of restraints on pregnant women incarcerated or detained at the federal, state, county, or municipal level.

(8) RESTRAINTS. Any physical or mechanical device used to control the movement of a detainee's body, limbs, or both. This includes, but is not limited to, handcuffs, leg shackles, belly chains, and all chemical restraints.

(9) SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. The isolation of a detainee in a separate cell as a mode of punishment.

Section 2. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), beginning on the date on which correction officers have been made aware of the pregnancy of a detainee and ending at the conclusion of postpartum recovery, a pregnant detainee in custody shall not be placed in restraints or solitary confinement.

(b)(1) The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply under any of the following circumstances:

a. A corrections officer determines that the detainee is an immediate and credible flight risk that cannot reasonably be prevented by any other means.

b. A corrections officer determines that the detainee poses an immediate and serious threat of harm to herself or others that cannot reasonably be prevented by any other means.

(2) Any use of restraints pursuant to subdivision (1) is to be recorded and reported, pursuant to subsection (c).

(3) If restraints are used under subdivision (1), only the least restrictive restraints necessary to prevent the harm or risk of escape may be used. The least restrictive restraints necessary shall never be interpreted to include any of the following, pursuant to professional guidelines:

a. Restraints around the ankles, legs, or waist of a detainee.

b. Restraining of a detainee's hands behind her back.

c. Four-point restraints.

d. The attaching of a detainee to another detainee.

e. Solitary confinement of a detainee.

(4) Notwithstanding subdivision (1), upon the request of a health care professional, a corrections officer shall refrain from using restraints on a pregnant detainee and shall remove any restraints in use on the detainee.

(c) If a corrections officer uses restraints on a pregnant detainee under subsection (b), that officer, within 30 days of placing that detainee in restraints, shall submit a written report to the commissioner and, if applicable, the appropriate health care professional. That report shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

(1) A description of all facts and circumstances surrounding the use of restraints.

(2) The reasoning upon which the determination to use restraints was made.

(3) The details of the use of restraints, including the type of restraints used and length of time during which the restraints were used.

(4) Any resulting physical effects on the detainee observed by or known to the corrections officer who applied the restraints, as applicable.

Section 3. (a) No later than one year after the effective date of this act, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall submit to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee a report that certifies compliance with this act and includes the information required to be reported under this act.

(b) The report under this section shall not contain any personally identifiable information of any detainee and shall adhere to standards set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) within medical settings.

Section 4. (a) The commissioner, in consultation with the Association of County Commissions of Alabama and the League of Municipalities, shall, by rule, establish a process through which a detainee may report a violation of this section to the commissioner.

(b) The commissioner, in consultation with the Association of County Commissions of Alabama and the Alabama League of Municipalities, shall develop consistent training guidelines regarding the use of restraints on detainees during the period of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery, and shall incorporate those guidelines into appropriate training programs. The training guidelines shall include all of the following:

(1) Communication of professional guidelines surrounding the use of restraints on pregnant women under the supervision of corrections officers.

(2) Circumstances under which the exceptions under subsection (b) of Section 2 would apply.

(3) How to apply restraints in a way that does not harm the detainee or the fetus.

(4) The information required to be reported under subsection (c) of Section 2.

(5) How to identify certain symptoms of pregnancy that require immediate referral to a health care professional, including spontaneous term labor, preterm labor, preeclampsia, eclampsia, hemorrhage, and miscarriage.

(c) In developing the training guidelines under this section, the commissioner, the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, and the Alabama League of Municipalities shall consider the professional guidelines.

(d) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement the training guidelines created under this section, to notify law enforcement agencies of violations of this act by personnel of those agencies, and as otherwise necessary to implement this act.

Section 5. A constable, sheriff, and each employee of a sheriff's office shall comply with Sections 1 through 4 of this act. For that purpose, the following terms defined in Section 1 shall be understood to have the following meanings:

(1) "Corrections officer" means a constable, any employee of a constable, or any employee of the sheriff's office, including transport personnel.

(2) "Department" means the office of the constable or the sheriff's office.

(3) "Detainee" means any individual in the custody of a constable or in the custody of any employee of the sheriff's office, including transport personnel.

Section 6. Each municipal law enforcement officer shall comply with Sections 1 through 4 of this act. For that purpose, the following terms defined in Section 1 shall be understood to have the following meanings:

(1) "Corrections officer" means any municipal law enforcement officer and any employee of a municipal law enforcement agency, including transport personnel.

(2) "Department" means a municipal law enforcement agency.

(3) "Detainee" means any individual in the custody of a municipal law enforcement officer or any employee of a municipal law enforcement agency, including transport personnel.

Section 7. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.


Prisons and Prisoners
Corrections Department
Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency
Restraints
Julia Tutwiler Prison