Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cruel and Unusual

A former client and subsequent friend called last night after too long a silence. It was great to talk with her. In the course of our conversation she asked if I'd seen this article about prisoners giving birth in shackles. I had not. Hey, I don't read the paper when I'm on vacation.

Anyway, can you believe that inmates often remain in leg restraints during labor? Sometimes they remain chained to a guard?

Typical of the corrections system, they view birth as a time of increased security risk (because we all know how fast laboring women can run) rather than a time of potential transformation for the mother.

I know this is my social liberalism (and class stereotyping) shining through, but it seems if anything could turn a woman from a path of crime, if would be rising above a lifetime of victimization and low self-esteem to have an empowering birth and successful bonding experience with her baby.

That can not happen if she moves through birth reminded at every moment of her sub-human stature in the penal system.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Love your knitting champion medallion!

4:46 PM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

You've made me want to post about the client I taught private childbirth ed classes to in the jail...and the way these women give birth in our state in prison.

HORRIBLE.
Hh

1:54 AM  

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