New York Consolidated Laws, Correction Law - COR § 611. Births to inmates of correctional institutions and care of children of inmates of correctional institutions

1. (a) If a woman confined in any institution or local correctional facility be pregnant and about to give birth to a child, the superintendent or sheriff in charge of such institution or facility, a reasonable time before the anticipated birth of such child, shall cause such woman to be removed from such institution or facility and provided with comfortable accommodations, maintenance and medical care elsewhere, under such supervision and safeguards to prevent her escape from custody as the superintendent or sheriff or his or her designee may determine.  No restraints of any kind shall be used during transport of such woman, a woman who is known to be pregnant by correctional personnel or personnel providing medical services to the institution or local correctional facility, or a woman within eight weeks after delivery or pregnancy outcome, absent extraordinary circumstances in which:

i. the superintendent or sheriff or his or her designee in consultation with the medical professional responsible for the institution has made an individualized determination that restraints are necessary to prevent such woman from injuring herself or medical or correctional personnel or others and cannot reasonably be restrained by other means, including the use of additional personnel;  or

ii. the correctional personnel directly responsible for the transport of such a woman determine that an emergency has arisen in which restraints are necessary because the woman poses an immediate risk of serious injury to herself or medical or correctional personnel or others and cannot reasonably be restrained by other means.

(b) If a determination has been made pursuant to subparagraph i or ii of paragraph (a) of this subdivision that extraordinary circumstances exist then restraints shall be limited to wrist restraints in front of the body.  The superintendent or sheriff or his or her designee pursuant to subparagraph i of paragraph (a) of this subdivision or correctional personnel pursuant to subparagraph ii of paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall document in writing the facts upon which the finding of extraordinary circumstances were based within five days of the use of such restraints and shall also document the type of restraints used and the length of time such restraints were used.

(c) No restraints of any kind shall be used when such woman is in labor, admitted to a hospital, institution or clinic for delivery, or recovering after giving birth.  Any such personnel as may be necessary to supervise the woman during transport to and from and during her stay at the hospital, institution or clinic shall be provided to ensure adequate care, custody and control of the woman, except that no correctional staff shall be present in the delivery room during the birth of a baby unless requested by the medical staff supervising such delivery or by the woman giving birth.  The superintendent or sheriff or his or her designee shall cause such woman to be subject to return to such institution or local correctional facility as soon after the birth of her child as the state of her health will permit as determined by the medical professional responsible for the care of such woman.  If such woman is confined in a local correctional facility, the expense of such accommodation, maintenance and medical care shall be paid by such woman or her relatives or from any available funds of the local correctional facility and if not available from such sources, shall be a charge upon the county, city or town in which is located the court from which such inmate was committed to such local correctional facility.  If such woman is confined in any institution under the control of the department, the expense of such accommodation, maintenance and medical care shall be paid by such woman or her relatives and if not available from such sources, such maintenance and medical care shall be paid by the state.  In cases where payment of such accommodations, maintenance and medical care is assumed by the county, city or town from which such inmate was committed the payor shall make payment by issuing payment instrument in favor of the agency or individual that provided such accommodations and services, after certification has been made by the head of the institution to which the inmate was legally confined, that the charges for such accommodations, maintenance and medical care were necessary and are just, and that the institution has no available funds for such purpose.

(d) Any woman confined in an institution or local correctional facility shall receive notice in writing in a language and manner understandable to her about the requirements of this section upon her admission to an institution or local correctional facility and again when she is known to be pregnant.  The superintendent or sheriff shall publish notice of the requirements of this section in prominent locations where medical care is provided.  The department and the sheriff shall provide annual training on provisions of this section to all correctional personnel who are involved in the transportation, supervision or medical care of incarcerated women.

(e) The department shall report annually to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the minority leader of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the assembly, the chairperson of the senate crime victims, crime and correction committee and the chairperson of the assembly correction committee concerning every use of restraints on a woman under this section, including the reason such restraint was used, the type of restraint used and the length of time such restraint was used pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision, but shall exclude individual identifying information.  The sheriff of each county shall report, in a form and manner prescribed by the commission, every use of restraints on a woman under this section, including the reason such restraint was used, the type of restraint used and the length of time such restraint was used pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision, annually to the commission.  The commission shall include such information in its annual report pursuant to section forty-five of this chapter, but shall exclude identifying information from such report.  Reports required by this section shall be posted on the websites maintained by the department and the commission.

2. A child so born may be returned with its mother to the correctional institution in which the mother is confined unless the chief medical officer of the correctional institution shall certify that the mother is physically unfit to care for the child, in which case the statement of the said medical officer shall be final.  A child may remain in the correctional institution with its mother for such period as seems desirable for the welfare of such child, but not after it is one year of age, provided, however, if the mother is in a state reformatory and is to be paroled shortly after the child becomes one year of age, such child may remain at the state reformatory until its mother is paroled, but in no case after the child is eighteen months old.  The officer in charge of such institution may cause a child cared for therein with its mother to be removed from the institution at any time before the child is one year of age.  He shall make provision for a child removed from the institution without its mother or a child born to a woman inmate who is not returned to the institution with its mother as hereinafter provided.  He may, upon proof being furnished by the father or other relatives of their ability to properly care for and maintain such child, give the child into the care and custody of such father or other relatives, who shall thereafter maintain the same at their own expense.  If it shall appear that such father or other relatives are unable to properly care for and maintain such child, such officer shall place the child in the care of the commissioner of public welfare or other officer or board exercising in relation to children the power of a commissioner of public welfare of the county from which such inmate was committed as a charge upon such county.  The officer in charge of the correctional institution shall send to such commissioner, officer or board a report of all information available in regard to the mother and the child.  Such commissioner of public welfare or other officer or board shall care for or place out such child as provided by law in the case of a child becoming dependent upon the county.

3. If any woman, committed to any such correctional institution at the time of such commitment is the mother of a nursing child in her care under one year of age, such child may accompany her to such institution if she is physically fit to have the care of such child, subject to the provisions of subdivision two of this section.  If any woman committed to any such institution at the time of such commitment is the mother of and has under her exclusive care a child more than one year of age the justice or magistrate committing such woman shall refer such child to the commissioner of public welfare or other officer or board exercising in relation to children the power of a commissioner of public welfare of the county from which the woman is committed to be cared for as provided by law in the case of a child becoming dependent upon the county.


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