Posts Tagged ‘ pregnant inmates ’

When do you call on the feds to investigate?

Jan 10th, 2015 | By
When do you call on the feds to investigate?

“”The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, created in 1957 by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
We believe that those “vulnerable members” include people in Texas county jails. Especially in those counties where we hear from numerous familes begging for help for loved ones: sons abused by other prisoners and guards, pregnant daughters losing weight and needing care, veterans with mental illness locked in solitary, geriatric parents needing medical care. That’s when you call on the DOJ.



Helping the pregnant women in our jails

Nov 26th, 2014 | By
Helping the pregnant women in our jails

A new coalition is in town: Texas Jail Project, Mama Sana/Vibrant Women along with ACLU of Texas and Amnesty International. You are welcome to join in—we need all the help we can get—because it will take a concerted effort to move the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and county sheriffs to make changes in the way they care for pregnant inmates in county jails.
In this San Antonio Current article, Alexa Garcia-Ditta provides outstanding writing on this complex subject. She leads with the story of 29-year-old Shela Williams, who was incarcerated in the Travis County Jail during a high-risk pregnancy. Her baby Israel died, and Shela wasn’t allowed to attend his funeral. She shares her painful story, to raise awareness of the need for better health care for pregnant women in local jails.



How do Texas county jails treat pregnant inmates?

Aug 23rd, 2014 | By
How do Texas county jails treat pregnant inmates?

In May, a woman named Nicole Guerrero filed a lawsuit against the Wichita County Jail for ignoring her when she was in labor. Locked alone in a cell, Nicole gave birth on a mat on the floor to a premature baby who died.What’s going on in Texas? Jails in the state are endangering pregnant women and their fetuses, despite the state’s professed interest in “unborn babies.”

In July, a woman named Jessica De Samito in the Guadalupe County Jail worried she might face a similar fate. Jail officials were noncommittal about giving Jessica the methadone she needs to keep from going into sudden withdrawal – a physically draining process that can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.



The Demonizing of a Pregnant Inmate

Aug 7th, 2013 | By
The Demonizing of a Pregnant Inmate

Attention: Nacogdoches County
When jailers and sheriffs disapprove of an inmate, does that give them the right to deny that person fair treatment? Humane conditions? A trained jailer should surely know that the answer is “no,” and that verbal abuse and judgmental attitudes can be disastrous for inmates with serious problems. Like Cathryn Windham, 7 months pregnant and currently incarcerated in your county jail. Pre-trial, convicted of nothing but accused of many things. All of which may not even be true. This college graduate has a long-documented history of mental illness and yes, she has used drugs. And so it would appear that you have found her guilty of being an imperfect mother-to-be. I suggest the jail, sheriff, and this county are failing her by not recognizing mental disorders in a pregnant woman are a complicated business, and not necessarily deserving of hostility and punishment.



Pregnant in a Texas County Jail?

Jan 1st, 2013 | By
Pregnant in a Texas County Jail?

Each month Texas county jails tally the number of pregnant inmates and report that to the Jail Commission. Some are only held there a few days, but others may be incarcerated for weeks and months and a number will deliver their babies in local hospitals while in custody.



Harris County Jail Report: Nutrition for Pregnant Inmates

Sep 30th, 2012 | By
Harris County Jail Report: Nutrition for Pregnant Inmates

In the spring of 2012, 22-year-old graduate student Kristina Sadler began asking questions about the nutrition and diet received by pregnant inmates in the Harris County Jail. She came up with questions, interviewed staff there and reported on what the jail considers adequate nutrition for incarcerated women who are pregnant. Researcher/writer Krishnaveni Gundu presents an analysis of what Sadler found in the context of other reports and information about pregnancy while incarcerated. TJP hopes more graduate students will see this and be inspired to begin similar projects at other county jails around Texas.



Claitor Comments on 2012 Abilene Sheriff Story

Mar 4th, 2012 | By
Claitor Comments on 2012 Abilene Sheriff Story

The Abilene Reporter ran a piece at the end of February providing a forum for Sheriff Les Bruce (above left) in which he describes the superiority of the Abliene jailers over Houston jailers and says they committ very few “errors.” TJP’s Director– and many citizens in Abllene–beg to differ. Read Claitor’s comment she posted at the newspaper.



Babysteps: Can Texas’ New Approach to Prisoners with Newborns Help Keep Families Together?

Dec 31st, 2011 | By
Babysteps: Can Texas’ New Approach to Prisoners with Newborns Help Keep Families Together?

Texas Jail Project is a group that works on issues to do with county jail, not Texas prisons – and since there are 245 county jails in Texas, we have our work cut out for us. But my work as a writer drew me to a non-jail topic; when a friend raved to me about the women and babies at the BAMBI program I knew I wanted to explore that in a story. Here it is in the new Texas Observer: http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/babysteps



Sheriff Joe Special: Shackling & Abuse of Pregnant Immigrant

Dec 22nd, 2011 | By
Sheriff Joe Special: Shackling & Abuse of Pregnant Immigrant

Homeland Security is running detention centers where women of color are often neglected or even abused, according to reports coming in from northern Arizona. It may be connected to an openly racist and hostile law enforcement culture there, but some say Texas immigration facilities are treating pregnant inmates the same way.



Medical Neglect of Pregnant Inmates Common in U.S. Jails

Nov 10th, 2011 | By
Medical Neglect of Pregnant Inmates Common in U.S. Jails

This article points to shocking negligence of incarcerated women who find themselves pregnant – and not just in Texas. Rachel Roth precisely describes the many ways jail staff fail to recognize and deal with women’s special needs, especially when they ignore signs of labor which leads “to women giving birth locked in their cells without any assistance.” See the remarkably forthright Texan Lisa Mijares, who stepped up at a prayer vigil in Abilene to describe what she endured giving birth in her cell after begging for help: http://www.texasjailproject.org/2010/10/lisa-gave-birth-alone-in-taylor-county-cell/