Current through 2021-2022 Regular Session Chapter 13
Section 42-1-11.3 - Treatment of pregnant and postpartum female inmates(a) As used in this Code section, the term:(1) "Custodian" means warden, sheriff, jailer, deputy sheriff, police officer, or any other law enforcement officer.(2) "Immediate postpartum period" means the six-week period following childbirth unless extended by a physician due to complications.(3) "Officer in charge" means the individual who is responsible for the supervision of a penal institution.(4) "Penal institution" means any place of confinement for juvenile or adult individuals accused of, convicted of, or adjudicated for violating a law of this state or an ordinance of a political subdivision of this state.(5) "Pregnant woman" means a woman whose pregnancy has been verified by a pregnancy test or through a medical examination conducted by a physician.(6) "Woman" means a juvenile or adult female who is confined in a penal institution.(b) A pregnant woman shall not be required to squat or cough during a strip search conducted by a custodian during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.(c) A pregnant woman shall not be required to undergo any vaginal examination unless prescribed and performed by a licensed health care professional.(d)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and notwithstanding Code Section 42-5-58, a custodian shall not use handcuffs, waist shackles, leg irons, or restraints of any kind on a pregnant woman who is in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, in labor, or in delivery, or on a woman in the immediate postpartum period.(2) A woman who is in the immediate postpartum period may only be restrained using wrist handcuffs with her wrists held in front of her body and only if there are compelling grounds to believe that such woman presents:(A) An immediate and serious threat of harm to herself, staff, or others; or(B) A substantial flight risk and cannot be reasonably contained by other means.(3) If a custodian uses wrist handcuffs on a woman who is in the immediate postpartum period under an exception provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the circumstances for and details of such exception shall be documented within two days of the incident. Such information shall include the nature of the circumstances and the length of time of such use of restraints. The documentation shall be reviewed by the officer in charge and retained by the penal institution for reporting purposes.(4) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the use of medical restraints by a licensed health care professional to ensure the medical safety of a pregnant woman.(e) A pregnant woman or woman who is in the immediate postpartum period shall not be placed in solitary confinement, in administrative segregation, or for medical observation in a solitary confinement setting; provided, however, that this shall not prevent the placement of such woman in a cell or hospital room by herself.(f) It is the intent of the General Assembly that a pregnant woman who is temporarily held in a county jail pending transfer to a state penal institution be transferred as expeditiously as possible. The Department of Corrections and a sheriff overseeing a county jail in which a pregnant woman is incarcerated shall make all reasonable efforts to facilitate such transfer. This subsection shall not apply to a pregnant woman who has been sentenced to a county jail by a judge.Added by 2019 Ga. Laws 249,§ 1, eff. 10/1/2019.