Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren Want to Treat Women in Prison Like Human Beings
Two Democratic senators unveiled a bill on Tuesday that aims to drastically reform how the U.S. federal prison system treats women behind bars, a segment of the incarcerated population that is often overlooked despite its rapid growth.
Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) introduced The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act at a press conference Tuesday. The bill, which also had Sens. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) as co-sponsors, would require federal prisons to provide free, quality sanitary napkins and tampons to female inmates, and would ban shackling them during pregnancy or placing pregnant women in solitary confinement.
At the heart of the bill are proposals that would make it easier for women to maintain strong family ties with their children while in prison. It requires that the Federal Bureau of Prisons consider the location of children when deciding where to place an inmate, and to create policies that make it easier for inmates to communicate with their families. These include longer and more frequent visiting hours, allowing physical interactions during visits, and not charging for phone calls.