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.
Posts Tagged ‘ pregnant inmates ’
Attention: Nacogdoches County
About 500 pregnant women are incarcerated in Texas county jails each month. 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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/
Via The Tennessean A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Nashville mother who triggered a national outcry after she was shackled during labor and after giving birth while in custody of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. U.S District Court Judge William Haynes Jr. will set a hearing for damages against Metro government and
Cook County Jail Unveils Wing , Program for Pregnant Inmates Published : Thursday, 09 Dec 2010, 1:07 PM CST, FOX Chicago News Chicago – The Cook County Sheriff’s Department is unveiling a new wing at the jail for pregnant inmates. The area will offer special services like nutrition and parenting classes. Sheriff Tom Dart also
An young Abilene woman has the courage to step before a crowd and describe the terrifying experience of bearing a child by herself in a jail cell; this remarkable video was made at a gathering to protest conditions in the Taylor County Jail. Organizer Lance Voorhees, who is also a jail chaplain, led the protest.