Nevada inmate was put in shackles while giving birth, lawsuit alleges


A Belarussian nurse attends to newborn infants in the maternity ward of a hospital in Minsk, Belarus on Mar. 8, 2010.



A former inmate is suing the Nevada Department of Corrections for shackling her legs while she was in labor, the Associated Press reported. The lawsuit says that the inmate, Valerie Nabors, hadn't been considered a flight risk. In addition, ambulance staff said the shackles made it difficult for them to give her medical attention.

"This is a case of shocking and deliberate indifference to the wholly obvious, serious medical needs of Valerie Nabors and the child she was about to deliver," the lawsuit says, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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In the federal lawsuit, filed by the ACLU, Nabors alleges that she suffered "inhumane treatment" that violated prison policy as well as her constitutional rights, the Review-Journal reported.

Soon after she went into labor in October, guards ran onto her ambulance and shackled her ankles together, ignoring objections made by ambulance workers. She stumbled around in her shackles at the hospital as she attempted to change into a hospital gown, Reuters reported. The guards removed them so she could put on her gown, but then put them on again 10 minutes after her daughter's birth. She was later diagnosed with a pulled groin muscle, but her condition could not be treated because of the shackles, the lawsuit says. The prison also confiscated a breast pump that doctors prescribed for her.

Nabors was released from prison last month and was incarcerated for less than a year. She had been serving time for trying to steal $300 in casino chips, which is a nonviolent crime, Reuters reported.