In March of this year, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law HB 318, which dealt with female prisoners no longer being shackled during childbirth. As a social worker in the state of Utah, I fully support this change.

By passing this law, Utah joined 22 other states and all federal prisons in no longer requiring that women be chained to a bed while giving birth. This is a step in the right direction, but the conditions in which inmates live still have a great need for improvement.

This is a hot topic, which is understandable. Inmates committed crime and thus should be required to atone for their choices and behaviors. That being said, most inmates will reenter society at some point. According to the Bureau of Justice, 95% of all inmates in state prisons will be released back into society. So, don’t we want them coming out better people? People who are going to be able to change their path and help better society? Or do we want them coming out resenting society for the conditions they lived in while incarcerated?

Christine Hubbard, Lehi