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Teen Vogue: Giving Birth in Jail Often Comes With Medical Neglect, Texas Jail Project Finds

April 18, 2023

After 28 men and women died in custody while awaiting trial last year, local officials are throwing money at the overcrowded facility. Advocates for inmates say bigger reforms are needed.

Topics:   2023news, Jail Conditions, Pregnancy, Pretrial Policy

Finally, my water broke, and doctors and nurses rushed over. Finally, they are going to help me and call 911, I thought… I was wrong. Instead, they took my pants off and asked me why I peed on myself and why I was faking it again. I was crying, asking them to please just call the ambulance. I knew I was too far into labor to stop it. I also knew it was too early to have my baby.

In 2017, we advocated for mandatory personal recognizance bonds for pregnant people through HB 1314, which, unlike cash bonds, do not require defendants to pay money upfront. If it had passed, the legislation would have mitigated generational trauma for the nearly 300 to 500 pregnant people who are booked monthly into Texas county jails.

On April 4, more than four months after Texas Jail Project filed a complaint with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, assistant director Ricky Armstrong replied agreeing, “there is an area of concern” with the complaint. “The pictures confirm that Amy Growcock, who was pregnant at the time, was restrained.” Armstrong said, “The commission does not question the professional opinion of medical personnel,” and said allegations of mistreatment should be directed to facility medical staff, the Board of Nursing, or the Texas Medical Board. He said the case would be closed, but that TCJS “will continue to monitor the Harris County Jail for compliance with minimum standards.”

Read full article at Teen Vogue
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