Gov. Schwarzenegger Vetoes Anti-Shackling Bill
By Rachel Walden — September 30, 2010
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed AB 1900, a bill requiring the Corrections Standards Authority to develop standards on the shackling of pregnant women, and to prohibit pregnant inmates from being shackled by the wrists or ankles during transport, labor and delivery, and recovery, unless deemed necessary for safety.
The veto is somewhat surprising, because the bill was approved unanimously every time it came up for a vote in the state Senate and Assembly.
The Governor argued in his veto that the bill “would require the Corrections Standards Authority (CSA) to develop guidelines concerning the shackling of pregnant inmates and wards during transport. However, CSA’s mission is to regulate and develop standards for correctional facilities, not establish policies on transportation issues to and from other locations.”
I’m no expert on the correctional system in California, so I don’t know whose job it would be to set standards on inmate transport if it is not the CSA’s. Do any of our California readers have any insight on this?
In a commentary for the San Francisco Chronicle, Karen Shain of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children called the veto “particularly mean spirited” and described the bill as “an inexpensive solution to a human rights problem.”
Jodi Jacobson at RH Reality Check has additional commentary. Please also see our previous posts on the shackling of pregnant inmates for further background and discussion.
While making special rules and enforcing them might be a bit cumbersome, two lives are at stake in this situation and an extra effort is worth it.