On giving birth in jail

Boulder Weekly editor Pamela White found herself drafting legislation

| Apr 2, 2010

weekly-logoIn February, Boulder Weekly editor Pamela White published an investigative report on women who give birth while in the Correctional Justice System in Colorado. What she found out is that due to a lack of legislation, there is a patchwork system of treatment of women who go into labor while in custody, with most women being shackled to a bed during the labor process and some women being forced to wear a belly chain restraint during their final trimester.

Six states have outlawed the shackling of women prisoners during labor, and Pennsylvania looks set to be the 7th state. After her report was published, White hoped that Colorado lawmakers would take notice and take action. When nobody did, she contacted legislators and now has helped pen a bill that she hopes will outlaw the shackling of female prisoners in labor. Pamela White spoke on KGNU about crossing journalistic boundaries by becoming part of the story she reported on and why she is so passionate about this issue.

Pamela White on giving birth in jail   4/1/10 (MP3, 6 min 10 sec)
Click to play, right-click to download

Entire April 1, 2010 “Morning Magazine” on KGNU’s website: Play or download