Season three ofis (almost) here! While creator Jenji Kohan and the whole cast have been pretty tight-lipped about what we can expect this season, which starts streaming on Netflix this Friday, we do know that one of the themes is motherhood. This season, Dayanara Diaz (Dascha Polanco) is going to have her baby while she’s still in jail.
Pregnancy behind bars actaully isn’t uncommon in the United States. Most of the time, though, people enter prison already pregnant instead of becoming pregnant after they’re incarcerated. The latter has happened, though it’s usually not the result of a swoon-y romance like Daya and guard John Bennett’s relationship. The Bureau of Justice found that nearly three percent of women entering federal prison are pregnant upon arrival. That number jumps to four percent for people in state prisons and five percent for those in local jails. While Jenji Kohan has stated that this season will be lighter than the last, real-life pregnancy behind bars isn’t fluffy stuff. Here are five things to keep in mind while watching what unfolds with Daya, Bennett, and their baby.
1. Giving birth in shackles and chains is still a reality.
At the end of the second season, Officer Caputo, in his new role as assistant to the warden, threatens to send Daya to a higher-security prison to give birth in shackles and chains. Shackling, as I’ve described in previous articles, is the practice of restraining a person with handcuffs, a waist chain, and ankle cuffs. If you’ve ever seen old movies of a chain gang, that’s what shackling looks like. And yes, this happens to pregnant women too.
Legally speaking, Caputo’s threat is an empty one. In 2008, the federal Bureau of Prisons revised its policy to ban shackling during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery except under extreme circumstances. In addition, 21 states have legislation limiting or prohibiting shackling during labor. But, as advocates in Massachusetts and New York have found, laws aren’t always followed. Reproductive justice advocate and fellow Bitch writer Rachel Roth recently noted that, in the year since Massachusetts passed its law, women are still shackled on their way to the hospital. The Correctional Association of New York, a prison watchdog group, found that women are routinely shackled during pregnancy and, despite the 2009 anti-shackling legislation, during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery.
So just because shackling is illegal doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
2. Medical care for pregnant people is not good.
Source and rest: bitch.