A number of bills are making their way through the Mississippi Legislature this week including one Corinth lawmaker Nick Bain calls “extremely important.”
As House Judiciary B Committee Chairman, Bain was among the authors of House Bill 196 that passed the House on Tuesday.
Called the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, if passed into law the bill will help women who are pregnant or give birth while in jail or prison.
The bill states leg restraints and handcuffs can not be used on an inmate who is pregnant or in labor unless a jail or prison employee believes she may harm herself, the fetus or any other person, or unless she is believed to be a flight risk.
“This is one of my favorite bills of my legislative career,” Bain told the Daily Corinthian. “This bill is extremely important for the health and safety of young mothers and their children.”
Bain, a republican, said the bill also protects pregnant inmates by ensuring they are provided proper nutrition and dietary supplements, and they may not be assigned to upper-level bunk beds.
After an inmate gives birth, the baby could remain with her for three days.
According to Bain, the practice now is to immediately take the baby out of the jail or prison.
The bill passed the House 115-0. It will go to the Senate for more debate.
Another bill moving along is Senate Bill 2678 and companion House Bill 633. Both seek to require the addition of computer science courses in K-12 schools across the state.
Republican Sen. Rita Potts Parks of Corinth said the ability for students graduating with some sort of computer science knowledge has become important skills to have in today’s workforce.
“The bill also designates funds to train educators to conduct these courses,” said Parks.
Both bills have passed out of each chamber’s education committees.