After Valerie Nabors, a former Nevada Department of Corrections inmate, gave birth to her fourth child, she says she was forced to wear shackles ten minutes later
Nabors also claims that her ankles were chained during labor, an illegal act in Nevada. The only time an inmate can be shackled during labor is she can potentially cause harm to herself or is a flight risk. Nabors fit neither category. The mother of four filed a lawsuit on June 20 against the Nevada Department of Corrections claiming cruel and unusual punishment.
Nabors was an inmate at Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center (FMWCC) on Oct. 19, 2011 when she went into labor. She was serving a 12-30 month sentence for attempting to steal $300 worth of chips from a casino
“Ms. Nabors suffered severe and extreme emotional distress as a result of being shackled during the delivery of her child,” the lawsuit says.
According to ABC News, Nabors suffered additional medical injuries:
X-rays shortly after delivery revealed Nabors had suffered a separation of normally joined pubic bones. External forces such as stumbling while shackled and undergoing labor can produce this type of injury, the lawsuit says. Nabors also pulled several muscles in her groin, causing her significant pain, the lawsuit states. She could not walk correctly for two weeks. Nabors did not experience this type of pain after the birth of her other three children. The lawsuit alleges that Nabors’ groin damage was caused by the shackling during labor.
Even after Nabors returned to the correctional facility, she allegedly endured more abuse:
Before leaving the hospital, doctors prescribed physical therapy to help with Nabors’ pain. But when a therapist asked Nabors to walk up and down a hallway, officers again refused to remove the shackles, according to the lawsuit.
Upon returning to prison after the birth, Nabors’ doctor recommended she use a breast pump because she was no longer allowed to nurse her daughter. When she returned to FMWCC, the breast pump was confiscated, the lawsuit says.
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