2020 Virginia Chapter 526
HB 1648 —approved by the governor in March 2020—prohibits the use of “solitary confinement” in Virginia for people in state correctional facilities who are known to be pregnant or up to 30 days postpartum, unless there is a reasonable belief that the person will harm themselves, the fetus, the newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk. If a pregnant or postpartum person is placed in restrictive housing, the employee authorizing the placement must document the justification for such placement within 72 hours. The law also mandates both juvenile correctional officers and correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections who may have contact with incarcerated people who are pregnant be trained on the impact of restrictive housing on pregnant people. Chapter 526 is effective on July 1, 2020.
Keywords: women, girls, fetus, baby, birth, juveniles, data, solitary confinement, restrictive housing, administrative segregation, pregnant, postpartum, female, Virginia Department of Corrections.