Jessica Preston, was 8 months pregnant, in Michigan, when a Macomb county officer stopped her for driving with a rosary that allegedly obstructed her view. Since she was driving on a suspended license, Jessica was arrested. Although this was a first offense and she was scheduled for a c-section in April, Ms. Preston was given a $10,000 cash bond.
She did not have the funds for such a high cash bond and was incarcerated for 14 days pending the scheduling of a hearing.
Preston started to experience pre-labor signs on the 5th day of her imprisonment. She requested help around 7:30 a.m. She told the deputies that she needed to see the medical staff. The deputies did not believe that she was in labor and she was ordered back to her cell.
Preston called again for help at 11:30 a.m. At that point, a video showed her being escorted to the medical area, but again she was sent back to her cell. According to Preston, the jail staff was rude and called her a liar. She was threatened with new charges.
90 minutes later, she returned to the medical area with blood on her legs. Preston was ordered to carry her belongings to a cell near the medical area. Another video showed her lying on a mattress on the cell floor. Again, she called for help, but the delivery had started, when the nurse arrived. Elijah was born on the jail cell floor. Elijah was born a month early and he was less than 5 pounds. After the delivery, Ms. Preston and Elijah were finally taken to the hospital. She was brought back to jail and spent five more days there.
Although a hospital was 3 minutes from the county jail, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham was confidant in the actions of his staff.
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
― Nelson Mandela
Founder of prisonpath.com