BSCC Response to Shackling Policy Report

The Board of State and Community Corrections is very interested in the findings in the Legal Services for Prisoners with Children report “No More Shackles” released today. We, too, are concerned with helping counties comply with the state statute on the shackling of pregnant women (Penal Code 3407). It’s important to note that the report cites no evidence that women are being shackled contrary to law. The question it raises concerns whether counties are compliant in developing written policies and are notifying inmates of those policies. Since the inception of the BSCC in July 2012, we have inspected local jails to ensure they have a “policy on the use of restraint equipment, including the restraint of pregnant inmates as referenced in Penal Code Section 6030(f).” This is set forth in Title 15 of our regulations section 1029 (a) (4). We are more than halfway through this two-year inspection cycle and have found that so far all 66 of the 125 facilities inspected are in compliance. We are interested in the methodology used to gather data in this report, and that has not been shared with us. If a facility says it prohibits shackling, as San Luis Obispo responded, that is more restrictive than the law. However it appears in the LSPC report that SLO is deemed not in compliance with the law. We also would like to know how it is possible for a county to be compliant in notifying inmates about the “no restraint” policy while being marked in the report as not having a compliant policy. It should be noted that Penal Code 6030 (f), which became effective Jan. 1, 2013, further requires the BSCC to develop more detailed standards regarding the restraint of pregnant women and inspect facilities for compliance. Our next biennial review and revision of our regulations begins in the fall of 2014.