What would you do? Creating UOF policies for pregnant inmates

A pregnant inmate poses a threat to herself and others; how should the warden create policy that allows officers to use force, but also protects the unborn child?


Inmate Christine Filer is pregnant. Unfortunately, even though she is pregnant, she continues to act up and still poses a major threat to herself and others.

Today, Warden Ryan Francis finds himself in need of some advice. In preparation for a possible cell extraction, he wants to implement a policy that relates directly to the use of force for pregnant inmates.

This policy will cover restraints, cell extractions and transportation. He wants to make sure he puts together a policy that includes protecting the life of the unborn child without limiting the power of the response team.

A warden wants a policy that protects the life of an unborn child without limiting the power of a correctional response team. (AP Photo/Brian Bohannon)
A warden wants a policy that protects the life of an unborn child without limiting the power of a correctional response team. (AP Photo/Brian Bohannon)

He has tried looking up past policies and can’t find anything on the use of force on pregnant inmates. He has called numerous institutions and there has been no response. So, he now turns to you. His major concerns are:

  • Should pregnant inmates be treated differently when all types of use of force is applied?
  • If so, will this difference limit the power of the response team?
  • If there is the need for a cell extraction, can a shield be used?
  • When restraining the inmate, can they be handcuffed, can they be shackled, and how should the restraints be placed?
  • What about the use of a chemical agent?

Warden Francis has a lot of concerns that need to be addressed. So far, his avenues of resources have been rather limited, so he now goes to the front line. Based on your experience, how would you write this policy? And, most importantly, how would you safely protect all lives involved (including the unborn baby)?

This article, originally published 10/30/2015, has been updated. 

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