The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act (HB 1648) helps restore dignity to incarcerated women across the state.
Richmond, VA (February 11, 2020) – Today, top criminal justice reformers at #cut50, a program of Dream Corps, celebrate the passage of the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act (HB 1648) in the Virginia House of Delegates. Lawmakers voted 97-3 for the bill, which passed out of both the Public Safety committee and Public Safety subcommittee last week with bipartisan support.
Authored by Virginia Delegate Kay Kory (D-38) and co-sponsored by Delegates Nick Frietas (R-30) & John McGuire (R-56), the bill set specific provisions for incarcerated women, including:
- Prohibiting the shackling of pregnant women;
- Prohibiting correctional officers from conducting pat down searches of incarcerated women unless they are of the same gender; and
- Allowing minor children visitation to see their parents at least twice a week.
Passing the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act was a bipartisan effort, with Delegates Kory (D), Frietas (R), and McGuire (R) working together as well as the American Conservative Union, #cut50 and other criminal justice groups, lending their support.
“People who have bonds with their families — while they’re inside — have much better records inside of prison, and they do much better once they’re out. ” – Erin Haney, #cut50’s Senior Counsel
#cut50’s Dignity Campaign is an effort spearheaded by formerly incarcerated women who have lived in prisons and know the conditions first hand. The campaign aims to enact legislation that will improve state correctional facility standards for women — the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons. To date, the Dignity Campaign has successfully changed policies in 10 states, impacting a total of over 30,000 incarcerated women.
More information about #cut50’s work for the Virginia Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act and the Dignity Campaign can be found here.
#cut50, a program of Dream Corps, is a national bipartisan effort to reduce the number of people in our prisons and jails while making our communities safer. Our campaigns are led by people who have been directly impacted by the justice system and want to create change.
About Dream Corps:
Dream Corps closes prison doors and opens doors of opportunity. We bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines to create a future with freedom and dignity for all. We are working to build a future where “we the people” means all of us.