A lawyer for a Florida woman who gave birth while alone in her jail cell is accusing workers at the Broward County jail of ignoring Tammy Jackson’s pleas for help.
Jackson, 34, who suffers from bipolar disorder and was arrested on trespassing and drug possession charges, gave birth on April 10 in her cell, seven hours after asking for help when her labor started, according to WPLG-TV.
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein called the incident “gross negligence” and said it could affect Jackson’s “already fragile mental health,” WPLG reported.
In a letter to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, Finkelstein demanded a review of medical and isolation practices at detention facilities.
A report by the Broward County Sheriff’s Department detailed the events of that night. The report said Jackson went into labor in the early morning hours of April 10 but was left alone in her cell instead of being transported to a hospital, CNN reported.
The report said that jail staffers left a message for an on-call physician contractor at 3:16 a.m., but did not speak to that doctor until 7:22 a.m.
Jackson gave birth almost 7 hours after asking for help. WPLG reported that other pregnant women in the jail at the time heard Jackson’s screams.
“What happened to Ms. Jackson is outrageous and inhumane,” Finkelstein said, contending both her life and the life of her newborn were put at risk.
Jackson gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Miranda Latrice Nixon, according to Jackson’s mother, Shirley Nixon.