Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Virginia Chapter 526 (HB 1648)

Virginia Chapter 526 (HB 1648)

This law—approved by the governor in March 2020—prohibits the placement of pregnant incarcerated people or a person who has given birth in the past 30 days and is in postpartum recovery in restrictive housing, unless there is a reasonable belief that the person will harm themselves, the fetus, the newborn child, or any other person or poses a substantial flight risk. The law also requires a written report to the warden or other official in charge of the state correctional facility with reasoning for why placement of a pregnant person in was authorized, within 72 hours following the transfer. It also requires both juvenile correctional officers and correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections who may have contact with incarcerated people who are pregnant to be trained on the impact of restrictive housing on pregnant people. Chapter 526 is effective on July 1, 2020.

Click here to view the bill’s legislative history.

Click here to read the law.


Keywords: women, girls, fetus, baby, birth, juveniles, data.