A Texas inmate has managed to give birth by herself inside a jail cell while avoiding the attention of corrections officers. The personnel learned about the baby only after it was born, a sheriff official said on Thursday.
Lt. Jennifer Gabbert, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office, the woman was a detainee at the Fort Worth jail cell and delivered her baby on May 17, as reported by HuffPost.
Gabbert added that the woman did not tell officers about the birth immediately, but one personnel soon discovered the baby afterwards. The mother and child were both taken to a hospital, she added, although no information regarding the health of the two was disclosed.
The Fort Worth staff knew about the woman being pregnant and had been regularly checking up on her health and well-being, said the spokeswoman, but did not reveal information about the frequency of the monitoring or if they had any knowledge about her due date.
Gabbert declined requests to identify the mother and refused to answer inquiries about the incident, including questions about how she was able to give birth without any medical equipment and without alerting the guards.
Corrections officers did not know how long the labour lasted as the woman did not notify them of the delivery.
Gabbert added that the sheriff's internal affairs department is investigating the incident regarding the child's birth but said that there is no evidence to suggest there was any wrongdoing by the staff, as reported by ABC News.
The woman was a prisoner of the jail cell since January and was held without bond for charges of assaulting a family member and harming a young child, elderly or disabled person, said Gabbert. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report the delivery of the child.
The jail has been struggling against the coronavirus outbreak among its personnel and resulted in Fort Worth police avoiding arresting criminals accused of minor crimes to reduce the spread of the infection among its inmates.
Lack of monitoring
According to CBS Local, the woman gave birth to the child shortly before state inspectors sent a notification to the Tarrant County Jail staff regarding their failure to meet standards concerning their monitoring of inmates, said Brandon Wood, the executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Wood revealed that they sent a notification of non-compliance to the jail on May 21 after inspectors observed that their staff failed to perform at least one face-to-face monitoring that is required every 30 minutes for some inmates. He added that the jail replied with a plan to circumvent the issue and was recertified after six days.
The death of a person in custody sparked the investigation, but Wood declined to elaborate on the incident. Later on April 26, however, the sheriff's office revealed that an inmate committed suicide.
Both Gabbert and Wood said that the temporary suspension of certification of the jail had no connection to the delivery of the inmate's child. They did not, however, give further details regarding the incident.
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