She Lost Her Baby, But Guards Were The Ones Who Got Counseling

skin to skin contact for infant
Zain Murdock
September 29, 2021

The issue of prison brutality, often decried in the U.S., extends to a global stage with the story of an anonymous 18-year-old who gave birth in an England prison.

According to records, she called three times and no one came, a neglect echoed by other pregnant incarcerated people. Then, it got worse.

Later that night, she ended up giving birth on her own, and the baby eventually died. Still alone, she had to bite through the umbilical cord herself, and struggled to get into bed while covered in blood. When two other people incarcerated nearby “raised the alarm,” help finally arrived. Sort of.

They claimed the young mother had a “bad attitude,” and despite the fact that she was expressing suicidal thoughts, they failed to give her bereavement counseling. But the same prison guards who ignored her cries were actually offered counseling instead!

When the ordeal hit the news, the prison could only say, “We are deeply sorry that this has happened.” But no matter how “sorry” they are, they cannot cover up this undeniable fact.

It’s not just negligence or incompetence – the prison system knows what it’s doing. The fact that these health services were available, but not offered, shows that the health or rehabilitation of incarcerated people globally is NOT the system’s priority. Brutality and dehumanization is.

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