In 2016, NIRH supported the implementation of new laws in Massachusetts designed to prohibit the shackling of pregnant incarcerated women and improve the treatment of pregnant women in prison overall with our partners Prisoners’ Legal Services and the Prison Birth Project. They engaged in public education, media outreach, advocacy with executive branch officials, and research, and ultimately published a thorough report about the first year of the law’s implementation.

Documenting the problems with implementation of this new law led to the law’s original sponsor introducing new legislation to address those issues and close other gaps also identified by Prison Birth Project and Prisoner’s Legal Services.