Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Agrees To Pay $200,000 Settlement To Former Inmate

By Al Macias
Published: Monday, November 21, 2016 - 8:12am
Updated: Monday, November 21, 2016 - 5:35pm

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to pay $200,000, as part of a court settlement, to a former inmate who was shackled while she was pregnant. The settlement also calls for a change in the department’s training policies.

Miriam Mendiola-Martinez claimed her rights were violated when detention officers shackled her before and after she gave birth in 2009. Her case was tossed out by a federal court in 2014. But in September of this year, a three-judge panel of 9th U.s. Circuit reinstated the case.

The attorney representing Mendiola-Martinez said the new policy prohibits placing restraints on any woman in labor and for two weeks after she gives birth. Exceptions are allowed under the policy for a woman who poses a flight risk or poses a danger to herself or others.

The settlement also calls for at least 30 minutes of training for all detention offices about the dangers of placing pregnant women in restraints.

The case was set to go to trial Dec. 6.