Iowa revises pregnant inmate restraint policy

State prison officials have revised their policy on restraining women who enter the prison system pregnant after the previous policy was challenged and lawmakers were considering legislation to change it.

The Des Moines Register reports Friday the old policy allowed restraints to be used until inmates were admitted to a hospital for delivery. They were shackled as soon as 24 hours after giving birth.

The new policy prohibits inmates 22 weeks or more along in pregnancy from being restrained unless they’re an immediate risk. Prisoners will remain unrestrained after giving birth until they are released from the hospital.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and others are pushing for a law setting restraint standards for pregnant inmates. State prison officials and some local law enforcement officials oppose it.