Feb 012010
 

Did they think she was going to run away in the middle of having a c-section?  Barbaric is not enough of a word here.

Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, an undocumented immigrant charged with using someone else’s identity to work, gave birth to a boy on Dec. 21 at Maricopa Medical Center. After her C-section, she was shackled for two days to her hospital bed. She was not allowed to nurse her baby. And when guards walked her out of the hospital in shackles, she had no idea what officials had done with her child…

…All hospitalized inmates are treated in the same manner as Mendiola-Martinez, according to Lt. Brain Lee, a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He said she had a “soft restraint” attached on one leg to her bed to prevent escape.

That soft restraint was a 12-foot-long chain…

…She says she was shackled during the two last months of her pregnancy too. Every time she had a pre-natal appointment, she waited in a small un-ventilated room with 20 other women. She had to sit in the floor. The chains were heavy and hurt her waist. Mendiola-Martinez often wept. She feared that her sadness could hurt the baby…

…About 1,500 pregnant women come through the Maricopa County Estrella jail every year. In 2009, 35 of them gave birth while in custody, according to Maricopa Medical Center records. More than 70 percent of the women detained in Maricopa County jails are accused of non-violent crimes and haven’t been sentenced yet. About 11 percent of them are undocumented immigrants. Health and county authorities say they don’t keep records on the immigration status or ethnicity of the women who give birth.

No of course they don’t keep records. Read the rest of this ghastly example of American injustice here.  Many thanks to Attica Scott for bringing this story to our attention.

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 February 1, 2010  Posted by on February 1, 2010

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