Woman Gives Birth In Denver Prison Alone Despite Cry For Help
On July 31, 2018, Diana Sanchez was forced to give birth by herself in a Denver cell while screaming and begging for medical attention from the on-duty nurses and deputy who instead of attending to her, were busy watching her through surveillance cameras during the whole process.
Sanchez was eight months pregnant when she was booked into Denver County Jail on July 14, 2018, for writing a check off her sister's bank account (identity theft) filed a lawsuit with the help of her lawyer, Mari Newman.
Sanchez delivery her baby without any assistance
Newman released the surveillance video which showed her client alone, screaming in excruciating pain on a hard, dirty, jail bed which was only feet away from a toilet. No nurse nor deputy ran to her aid. She was forced to do everything by herself while the prison staff watched her suffer.
Sanchez lawsuit stated that while in the five hours labor, a deputy went to get a nurse but the nurse allegedly told the deputy "not to bother him until he was off the phone."
Sanchez and her baby at home
According to Fox31 who first broke the news, the 26-year-old mother said
“I was screaming, ‘Can you please get the nurse? I'm in a lot of pain.'
Despite her pleas: ‘Look, my water broke, my water broke,' 'The baby is coming,' Sanchez was neglected and without anesthesia, she gave birth to her son, Jordan Sanchez-Mera J.S.M. at 10:44 a.m., an hour after her water broke.
Surveillance footage shows woman giving birth alone in Denver prison cell
Sadly, the Denver Sheriff Department vindicated their staff stating that they took the appropriate steps.
In a statement to FOX31, the Denver Sheriff Department said:
“The Department recognizes the importance of inmate wellness and providing the appropriate health care services to every individual in our care. In this case, the investigation determined that the Deputy Sheriffs took the appropriate actions under the circumstances and followed the relevant policies and procedures; therefore, no discipline will be issued."
Internal documents written by deputies show multiple deputies placing the blame on the nurses on duty for failing to discharge their duties. The nurses were hired by Denver Health who is contracted by the Denver Sheriff to provide medical services.
“When a jail provides no medical care whatsoever to a woman who is giving birth in her cell, something is seriously wrong. To state the obvious, childbirth is not something that comes on without warning, and any layperson can recognize the need for medical care when a woman is in labor. Our client was in labor for hours, all alone in a dirty cell, begging for medical help which never came. Denver is morally and legally responsible for the medical needs of the people it jails, even if it decides to bring in outside nurses. An inmate’s right to adequate medical care is Denver’s fundamental constitutional obligation. We are appalled, but not surprised, that Denver found no wrongdoing by its staff,” Mari Newman said.
Sanchez and her attorney who have been devastated by the decision, wants the City of Denver to expect legal action.
“It’s very upsetting because now when my son grows up I’m going to have to tell him (how he was born) and it’s embarrassing,” said Sanchez. “I just feel so disappointed, so let down.”
"We empathize with anyone who is in jail while pregnant including Ms. Sanchez," according to Denver Sheriff's spokeswoman Daria Serna, in a statement issued on Thursday.
"Ms. Sanchez was in the medical unit and under the care of Denver health medical professionals at the time she gave birth," Serna said.
"To make sure nothing like this happens again, 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 regard to the identify theft charge, Sanchez's lawyer said her client "has taken responsibility" for that act and the case has been resolved.