After Prison Miscarriage, Pamela Winn Became The Face of Anti-Shackling Campaign in Georgia

Pamela Winn says she never meant to become the face of Georgia’s anti-shackling campaign. But when a federal effort to enact legislation stalled in Washington, she turned her energy to her home state.

Courtesy of Pamela Winn

Updated at 2:05 p.m. on May 13

Georgia is one of six states that allows female inmates to be shackled during labor and after giving birth, a practice that presents multiple opportunities for complications and can endanger both the mother and child.

But in part because of Pamela Winn’s efforts, there soon will be just five states allowing for shackling of inmates in labor and immediately following giving birth.

Winn, who’s from metro Atlanta, was sentenced to 78-months in the federal system for healthcare fraud.

While incarcerated, early in the process, Winn had a miscarriage. It was that experience that ultimately led her to advocate for better protections for female inmates. Gov. Kemp recently signed HB-345 into law, which for the first time in Georgia offers some of those protections. The law takes effect on Oct. 1.

In this two-part interview, WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress sat down with Pamela Winn. He began the conversation by asking her to take us back to the night of her miscarriage.

In the second part of Burress and Winn’s discussion, they talked about how Winn turned anger into advocacy, in the process, potentially changing Georgia law.

Part II