A former prisoner is suing police officers at Denver County Jail for allegedly forcing her to give birth alone in a dirty jail cell.
26-year-old Diana Sanchez has said she was left screaming in agony as she gave birth to her son, Jordan, without any anaesthesia, medical assistance or anyone to help her.
According to court documents, Sanchez informed Denver Sheriff Department deputies she had gone into labour at approximately 5am on July 31, 2018. She has claimed a guard refused to come to her aid when she told him her waters had broken shortly before 10am.
As detailed in court documents, jail staff allegedly ‘cruelly chose convenience over compassion’, and ‘callously made her labor alone for hours’.
When Sanchez finally gave birth to her baby boy at 10:44am, a nurse, who had been watching Sanchez from outside the cell, walked in and picked up her son.
According to KDVR Sanchez said:
I felt helpless. Nobody was helping me. There were so many people there and nobody lifted a finger basically,
That pain, it’s just, it’s indescribable. What hurts me more is the fact that nobody cared.
Sanchez had been in jail for 14 days prior to Jordan’s birth on charges related to identity theft. She has now filed a lawsuit claiming that jail staff knew she was in labour, but decided against taking her to hospital as it would have been ‘inconvenient’.
Sanchez’s lawyer, Mari Newman, has given the following comments on the lawsuit according to KDVR:
The failure to provide care to a woman who is in labour and a baby who is born without any medical assistance in a dirty jail cell, this is not civilised.
Any layperson can see that a woman who has been in labour for hours and hours and who is yelling, calling that she’s in labour and needs to go to the hospital, needs to go to the hospital. Pick up the phone and call 911.
As reported by Newsweek, a spokesperson from the Denver Sheriff Department has made the following statement:
The care and well-being of our inmates is a top priority for the Denver Sheriff’s Department, which is why we contract with Denver Health to provide comprehensive medical care at both of our jails.
After learning that Ms. Sanchez gave birth in a cell at the Denver County Jail on July 31, 2018, Sheriff [Patrick] Firman immediately ordered Internal Affairs to conduct a review to understand what happened. Denver Health was also asked to review this incident.
The spokesperson said an investigation found deputies had done nothing wrong in their handling of the situation.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.