5431SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mary Edly-Allen passed an initiative to align nutrition and restraint protections for pregnant and postpartum incarcerated individuals in state prisons.

“Every jail in Illinois has their own policies and procedures when it comes to pregnant incarcerated individuals and their rights,” said Edly-Allen (D-Libertyville). “This bill ensures that every pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding individual in all county jails and prisons has the same protections.”

House Bill 5431 seeks to align rights statewide to address the lack of humane treatment of pregnant and postpartum people. Additionally, this legislation requires annual reporting on pregnancies, births, miscarriages, and the use of restraints in facilities as well as requiring supplemental nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding prisoners.

"Being an incarcerated mom is emotionally distressing. We are placed far away from our families, and maintaining relationships with children and those we love can be difficult,” said Colette Payne, Director of the Reclamation Project at the Women's Justice Institute. “How can we help facilitate a pregnant woman's or any woman's mothering role while in custody?  Being shackled while pregnant, giving birth, or postpartum is not supportive, and we need to end this harmful practice now.”

House Bill 5431 passed the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the governor for further consideration.