Report: Virginia Fails in Treatment of Mothers Behind Bars

October 21, 2010

A new federal report gives Virginia a failing grade when it comes to the treatment of mothers in prisons.

Virginia is one of 21 states that received failing grades in the report released Thursday by the National Women's Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights.

The report analyzes policies in three areas: prenatal care, shackling of pregnant women during childbirth and community-based alternatives to incarceration enabling mothers to be with their children.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor refused to comment on the report because he had not seen it. But he said pregnant women receive both normal and high-risk pregnancy care and that only front handcuffs are used.

In 2009, there were 17 births, and there have been 14 in 2010.

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