A mentally ill inmate, despite requesting help, delivered her baby by herself, alone in a jail cell, without the help of a doctor, or a nurse, in Broward county, Florida. According to Tammy Jackson’s attorneys, the jail personal knew that Ms. Jackson was full term, when she asked for help, after feeling contractions.
According to the investigation by the news media, CNN affiliate WPLG, other inmates heard the loud screams of Ms. Jackson during her 7 hours of labor.
The staff did not take her to a hospital, but decided to contact the on call doctor at 3:16 a.m., but the doctor was not reached until 7:22 a.m.
Jackson’s attorneys have written:
“Six hours and 54 minutes after asking for help, a (Broward Sheriff’s Office) tech notified medical staff that Ms. Jackson was holding her newborn baby in her arms, having delivered the baby without medication or the assistance of a physician,”
Gina Carter, Broward county spokeswoman, has reported the sheriff’s office is investigating the matter.
Although it is 2019, the treatment of pregnant inmates is still inhumane in numerous states. For example, some states even require shackling of pregnant women giving birth. During the last fifteen years, only twenty one states have passed regulations, restricting shackling during labor and post-delivery- recovery. Depending on the jurisdiction’s rules, what actually happens to a pregnant inmate, can be devastating for the mother, and for the baby. The American Medical Association in a 2010 resolution called the practice of shackling pregnant inmates unsafe, medically dangerous, and “barbaric.”
As a society, we cannot continue to allow abusive and inhumane treatment of pregnant inmates.
Posted by Bradley Schwartz
Founder of Prisonpath.com