May 18, 2021
Handcuffs come off prison mums
The Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children has welcomed Corrections' decision to stop using handcuffs and mechanical restraints on women in labour.
The new rule will also apply to women at and over 30 weeks pregnant.
Glenis Philip-Barbara says every baby in Aotearoa deserves the best start in life – and there is no exception for those born to a mum in prison.
Handcuffing women close to and just after birth risks getting in the way of the critical bond between mums and babies that can ensure a loving connection and lifelong wellbeing.
She says the practice had become embedded and normalised, and the Office of the Children's Commissioner repeatedly recommended it cease.
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