Activists endorse prisoner rights agenda

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Civil rights activists met in Providence last night to endorse a package of bills they hope the General Assembly will embrace next year.

One bill would outlaw the shackling of pregnant prisoners during transport. Bruce Reilly of the prisoner advocacy group DARE says women are transported to court and doctor's offices without seat belts or airbags.

"They are transported in a van in a shackled position," he says. "Very dangerous. There's a lot of traffic accidents every year and they could trip and fall while walking to or from the hospital or courthouse."

Other bills would bar employers from asking job applicants about prior criminal convictions, limit the amount of interest prisoner savings accounts can be charged and allow good time credit for people on parole or probation.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.