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Why is the U.S. Handcuffing Incarcerated Women In Childbirth?

"How we become is who we become" is the main premise of IN UTERO.

Women are the fastest growing segment of America's prison population. Nearly 80% of women incarcerated today are mothers - many of them primary caregivers and the last line of defense between their kids and the world. The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, a bill introduced by Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, would help address the unjust conditions incarcerated women face.

The bill would institute a number of reforms that strengthen family ties and support rehabilitation, including: 

  • Requiring the Federal Bureau of Prisons to consider the location of children when placing mothers behind bars
  • Expanding visitation policies for primary caretakers
  • Banning shackling and solitary confinement for pregnant women
  • Prohibiting prisons from charging for essential health care items, such as tampons and pads

This bill would be stronger with Republican support; please urge Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to join Booker & Warren in co-sponsorship.

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By treating incarcerated women with dignity and giving them basic support, we not only improve public safety and reduce recidivism, but we also help the children who are directly impacted while in utero.

Please join us in this fight for basic human rights by signing and sharing this petition

In solidarity,
Stephen & Kathleen Gyllenhaal, IN UTERO 

"We, the undersigned, encourage Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to join Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in co-sponsorship of The Dignity For Incarcerated Women Act (S-1524). This bill, and the women that it will protect, deserve nothing less than our full commitment to making this Bill a Law."

*Want to do more? Email inuterofilm@rebelhouse.com if you or your org can help us spread the word about this bill.

FACTS:

  • Just five percent of women in the world live in the U.S., but the U.S. accounts for nearly 30 percent of the world's incarcerated women. (1)
  • Nearly 80% of women incarcerated today are mothers — many of them primary caregivers and the last line of defense between their kids and the world. (2)
  • 86% of women in jail report having experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. (3) 
  • Women are the fastest growing segment of the American prison population, with the number of incarcerated women growing from 26,378 in 1980 to more than 215,000 in 2014. (4) 

Recommended reading:
A comprehensive article on Refinery29
Elizabeth Warren’s Official Website outlines the specifics of the Bill.
Sources:
1. www.prisonpolicy.org/global/women/#data
2. www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/overlooked-women-and-jails-fact-sheet-web.pdf
3. www.vera.org/publications/overlooked-women-and-jails-report
4. www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Incarcerated-Women-and-Girls.pdf
5. In response to bill, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released a memo explicitly requiring prisons to provide a range of tampons and pads to incarcerated women, free of charge.

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Recommended reading:
A comprehensive article on Refinery29
Elizabeth Warren’s Official Website outlines the specifics of the Bill.


Sources:
1. www.prisonpolicy.org/global/women/#data
2. www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/overlooked-women-and-jails-fact-sheet-web.pdf
3. www.vera.org/publications/overlooked-women-and-jails-report
4. www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Incarcerated-Women-and-Girls.pdf
5. In response to bill, the Federal Bureau of Prisons released a memo explicitly requiring prisons to provide a range of tampons and pads to incarcerated women, free of charge.
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