Birth On Prison Cell Floor
Jessica Preston, was 8 months pregnant, in Michigan, when a Macomb county officer stopped her for driving with a rosary that allegedly obstructed her view. Since she was driving on a suspended license, Jessica was arrested. Although this was a first offense and she was scheduled for a c-section in April, Ms. Preston was given a $10,000 cash bond.
She did not have the funds for such a high cash bond and was incarcerated for 14 days pending the scheduling of a hearing.
Preston started to experience pre-labor signs on the 5th day of her imprisonment. She requested help around 7:30 a.m. She told the deputies that she needed to see the medical staff. The deputies did not believe that she was in labor and she was ordered back to her cell.
Preston called again for help at 11:30 a.m. At that point, a video showed her being escorted to the medical area, but again she was sent back to her cell. According to Preston, the jail staff was rude and called her a liar. She was threatened with new charges.
90 minutes later, she returned to the medical area with blood on her legs. Preston was ordered to carry her belongings to a cell near the medical area. Another video showed her lying on a mattress on the cell floor. Again, she called for help, but the delivery had started, when the nurse arrived. Elijah was born on the jail cell floor. Elijah was born a month early and he was less than 5 pounds. After the delivery, Ms. Preston and Elijah were finally taken to the hospital. She was brought back to jail and spent five more days there.
Although a hospital was 3 minutes from the county jail, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham was confidant in the actions of his staff.
“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
― Nelson Mandela
Founder of prisonpath.com
William–And as stated in my first sentence, humane treatment should be for all, this appears to be a debacle. However, your description had some details not including others (intentional or not) like her outstanding warrants which failing to appear is a crime and can be considered a separate criminal offense from whatever underlying event she was stopped for. Unfortunately, she was detained and sadly this event happen. My concern is the implied wrong for the arrest due to her condition, unless you suggest pregnant females should not be arrested?
Bradley—William, William, it does not matter what offense and what record, she deserved to be treated in a humane way and she was not., So, the charge or record does not matter. However this is a country of overcriminalization. Do you really think that some officers sometimes do not treat inmates badly.
William– Bradley, Bradley. Absolutely. When have you seen me not call out bad behavior when it occurs, as I did here. But you have this tendency to model your remarks with a “slanted” description always against criminal justice and specifically corrections. Have you ever posted a positive article regarding corrections?
Denise Smith—Like my colleagues, I am appalled by the lack of humanity shown by the deputies in Macomb County, Michigan. Unfortunately, this reality is more common than we imagine despite cameras, discipline and criminal charges against wrong doers.
chris–while i find the treatment of this individual deplorable (assuming it’s reported accurately), having had urine thrown in my eyes today whilst on shift my enthusiasm for employment in the custodial setting is waning. try to be professional and fair and you will still be abused, assaulted and treated with utter contempt and hatred. sometimes it matters not if the system treats its criminals with decency..
chris–while i find the treatment of this individual deplorable (assuming it’s reported accurately), having had urine thrown in my eyes today whilst on shift my enthusiasm for employment in the custodial setting is waning. try to be professional and fair and you will still be abused, assaulted and treated with utter contempt and hatred. sometimes it matters not if the system treats its criminals with decency.
WILLIAM– As a retired Correctional Sergeant I find the treatment of this young woman reprehensible first and foremost she is a human being second she was pregnant and I do not care what got her locked up nor do I care that she had other charges she was treated terribly by Correctional staff some of the comments here specifically the bickering between Bradley and Director Daly shouldn’t be happening both of you bring up good points however neither of you bring up the fact that training or the lack thereof caused this young woman to be mistreated at the hands… Read more »
Bradley– William, you made excellent points. The medical staff was grossly negligent re: their care of her. As I said, inmates should be treated humanely. I understand that some inmates response to officers should be condemned as well. However, a line has to be established to maintain basic decency. Jessica was not given basic humane care. Whenever anyone refers to her record, they are sadly missing the point of the article
David– After 25 years in law enforcement, I feel qualified to say “outrageous”. A first time offender arrested for a minor offense at 8 months pregnant! Then a 10’000 cash bond? I am all for enforcing the laws, but this is what makes good American people miss-truss law enforcement! “common since”!!!!!!!
Brent– This is one of the most disturbing articles to read in our country.
Kevin– Prison as a Last Resort so much for “The Land of the Free”
Bradley– Brent & Kevin, if you think this was terrible, read about pregnant inmates shackled while giving birth—–https://www.prisonpath.com/pregnant-inmates-shackled-labor/
Susan–shocking anywhere but in the land of the free????
Valarie– Negligence to that degree is inexcusable
Robert — I would agree that there are better ways to deal with an offender like this. I always believed if a person is driving on a suspended license then take the car until the license issue is resolved. If it is another persons car so be it.
jake –Robert is correct, she was driving on a suspended DL, What was it suspended for would have added to the story. We just don’t know, some states have mandatory arrest for this offense and the officer may have not had an option. Most county jail would not want this women as an inmate.
Alonza– During my 27 years in Corrections this does not surprise me. When will we ever erase this kind of blatant practice?
Diane– I know guards are mistreated very much, from the filth thrown at them and more….but this is a horrible injustice of this woman and her new born baby. Deplorable….even a homeless woman would have received much better treatment. As said I know guards get treated like crap and go through a lot, and all that can be done is put the inmate in solitary for awhile…but what is going to happen to this baby born on a dirty jail/prison floor where people have walked and much more? Where is a line drawn?
Diane– I am sorry to hear of the guard here is Fl. who was scaled to death in a shower…..guards face many unknown and known factors and if one gets to know an inmate and what they are like one can try to avoid them, or isolate them…but if one if my thoughts try to treat an inmate in a human form instead of just a number is it possible that this kind of thing can be changed?
Bradley– I apologize Diane, for my poorly worded sentence, but it was Florida prison correction officers who scalded an inmate to death.