Ieasha Meyers gave birth to her son late last month in the Polk County Jail. The father of the child, Charles Winters, says his girlfriend was in labor for almost three hours inside of a medical unit holding cell.
“She was lying on the floor and was screaming and yelling for help and no one would come to her aid.”
Winters says his girlfriend was ignored by the 24 hour medical staff.
“I’m not sure what the proximity or how far the guard are from them but they`re not too far cause it medical so it should be fairly close so they would be able to keep an eye on them.”
Sgt. Jana Abens with the Polk County Sherriff’s office says medical staff checks on medical unit inmates every 15 minutes in order to ensure safety.
When pregnant inmates go into labor, they are transferred to a local hospital, where the hospital makes the final decision. In Meyer’s case, she was taken to the hospital in the afternoon,examined by doctors who say she wasn’t ready, then released a few hours later back to jail.
Meyers gave birth to a baby boy that evening behind bars.
“She felt the head coming down so she asked her inmate to pull her panties down and actually help her and that`s what happened,” says Winters.
The Polk County Sheriff’s office says the medical unit isn’t equipped to handle a child birth.
Sgt. Jana Abens says, “I don`t think that`s the intention, they are equipped to handle some medical type incidents that occur in the jail but this type of thing would not be normally planned to take place in the jail.”
According to baby’s father, jail medical staff arrived 20 minutes after the child was born. He says his girlfriend and newborn deserved more than that.
“I understand that people are in jail because they`ve done wrong. I understand that inmates need to get corrected but I would also like to see the guards treat the inmate with a little more respect.”