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Ex-Wisconsin inmate sues over shackles during childbirth

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former Milwaukee County Jail inmate has filed a federal lawsuit claiming she was forced to wear shackles during childbirth at a hospital.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Sandra Robles’ lawsuit alleges the chain between her feet was so short that she couldn’t reach the stirrups during labor in February 2014. The lawsuit names the county and Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt.

The now-25-year-old says her hand was chained to the bed and that this prevented her from having full skin contact with her newborn.

The lawsuit says the sheriff’s office policy of shackling pregnant inmates while in the hospital was punitive and excessive, and that it violated Robles’ civil rights. The policy was dropped last year.

A Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman hasn’t returned a request for comment.

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