How a Boulder Weekly Article Laid the Foundation for Shackling Legislation

April 2 2010, 11:50 AM

Following a February feature in the Boulder Weekly, which found that pregnant women in Colorado prisons can be shackled to their beds as they give birth, the paper's editor, Pamela White, waited to see if lawmakers would respond to her story. When they didn't, she sent her article to them, along with other research. They were so stunned by her findings that they invited White to draft legislation. State Senator Evie Hudak, the Westminster Democrat carrying White's bill, says she wants shackling prohibited. "It's needed because it's inhumane treatment of women," Hudak (pictured) tells the Weekly in a follow-up story. "Maybe it's based on a misunderstanding that men have, who have never been through labor and are generally in charge of the corrections system. One person said the women might escape. I think that shows a misunderstanding of how a woman feels during labor and after delivery." White explains her motivations in her column, "Uncensored," writing, "As I took in this information, it became clear to me that in order to abolish the practice, to ensure that pregnant inmates across the state are treated fairly, and to protect our cities, our counties, and our state from lawsuits, a state law would be needed."