Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Three out of five inmates in Kentucky have children, including 71% of women in custody, and we cannot think about parental incarceration without acknowledging the shared sentence it has on so many children. We applaud Senator Julie Raque Adams for championing Senate Bill 133, which takes strong steps to improve outcomes of pregnant inmates and their babies and passed the House Judiciary Committee today.
We appreciate Chairman Joe Fischer and the unanimous support of the committee on this important measure to improve conditions of pregnant inmates and their babies by limiting shackling during labor and childbirth. SB 133 prioritizes the health of babies by allowing pregnant women in custody to be released to treatment for substance use issues.
We thank Senator Raque Adams and co-sponsors Senator Whitney Westerfield and Senator Alice Forgy Kerr for their commitment to placing the best outcomes of babies and mothers first. SB 133 exemplifies thoughtful criminal justice policy that both addresses underlying substance use issues that are contributing to increased incarceration rates and improves public safety by helping pregnant inmates overcome their addiction. Thousands of kids across the commonwealth will win when this measure becomes a reality.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.