Opinion: Denver woman is right to sue Denver after giving birth alone in dirty jail cell
An inmate, Diana Sanchez, was arrested on July 14, 2018, for identity theft after attempting to withdraw money from her sister's bank account. She was about 9 months pregnant when she was taken into custody.
The Denver Police Department released clips of the event on July 31, 2018, in which the plaintiff was seen writhing in pain on a small cell bed after repeatedly speaking with the staff, informing them that she was experiencing on-going contractions. Reportedly, Sanchez was in labor for about five hours before she finally gave birth to a baby boy. Soon after, a nurse came and examined her before taking the child out of her arms.
There were a few complications, and if Sanchez would have been admitted to the hospital any later than she was, there was a possibility that she could have bled out. The jail staff even admitted that there were not enough resources to provide pregnant inmates with the medical care that they need.
Although Sanchez had committed a crime, I don't believe that a few bad decisions should have resulted in her being treated inhumanely. When asked about the experience, the plaintiff stated, "that pain was indescribable, and what hurts me more though is the fact that nobody cared."
A spokeswoman for the Denver Sheriff's Department stated that Denver Health Medical provides "comprehensive medical care at both our jails." She also informed that "the Denver Sheriff Department has changed its policies to ensure that pregnant inmates who are in any stage of labor are now transported immediately to the hospital."
In my honest opinion, this is a measure that should have been taken to begin with since it is obvious that their jail system is not able to provide pregnant inmates with proper care.