Nevada Governor Signs Emergency Regulations To Protect Inmates' Babies

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Emergency Nevada rules to ensure babies
born to women inmates don't wind up in the hands of abusive caregivers while their mothers complete prison sentences were signed Friday by Gov. Jim Gibbons.

The regulations were approved following a tip to police that a 3-year-old girl, apparently a sexual abuse victim, recently taken by authorities from a Wisconsin woman during a drug bust was the child of a Nevada prison inmate. DNA tests to confirm the girl's identity are pending.

Under the rules signed by Gibbons, the state Health and Human
Services Department will work with the state Department of Corrections to ensure proper placement of babies born to inmates. In 2006 and 2007, 55 babies were born to women serving prison terms.

The new standards require that a prison social worker coordinate
pending child placements with pregnant women inmates. Once an
inmate picks a caregiver, that person will undergo a criminal background check.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-05-16-08 1446EDT