Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Virginia Chapter 526 (HB 1648)

Virginia Chapter 526 (HB 1648)

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.

Click here to view the bill’s legislative history.

Click here to read the law.

Keywords: women, girls, fetus, baby, birth, juveniles, datasolitary confinement, restrictive housing, administrative segregation, pregnant, postpartum, female, Virginia Department of Corrections.