Jazmin Valentine jail birth lawsuit: Ex inmate at Maryland jail claims forced to give birth alone on a dirty jail cell floor as staff laughed at 8 month pregnant woman.
A former inmate at a Maryland jail has filed a lawsuit in which she alleges being forced to give birth on her jail cell’s dirty floor all alone — despite sliding her amniotic sac under the door to prove she was about to deliver — as staff ignored the woman’s pleas for help.
Jazmin Valentine, 26, claimed in a federal lawsuit that nurses at the Washington County lockup in Hagerstown turned a deaf ear to her screams — and some jail staff laughed — while she was in labor for six hours in July 2021 while in solitary confinement.
Nurses working for the facility’s contracted medical provider — Pennsylvania-based PrimeCare Medical Inc. — claimed Valentine was withdrawing from drugs, not in labor, according to her lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Some jail employees and medical personnel also laughed at her, saying she was just trying to get out of her cell late at night, the suit alleges.
During painful contractions, the first-time mom — who was jailed on an alleged probation violation — removed what she believed was the amniotic sac and slid it under her cell door to prove she was about to deliver, according to the suit.
‘As long as jail and prison administrators view inmates as animals these kinds of things will continue to happen,’
A fellow inmate who heard Valentine’s cries alerted the young woman’s boyfriend, who called the jail to plead for help, the suit states.
Valentine said she was determined to try to give birth on her own but feared that her baby would die without assistance.
‘In my brain, anything could happen. I felt like I was in the hands of the devil, honestly,’ she said, adding that the newborn developed a stubborn staph infection.
The lawsuit accuses Washington County, the sheriff, the sheriff’s department, jail nurses and staff of violating her rights under state law and federal laws.
David Lane, her attorney, said the ordeal was a blatant violation of her constitutional rights and added they want to send a message to jails and prisons across the country that treatment like this is unacceptable.
‘What we’re looking for is accountability. We want to send a message to every jail and prison in America: They will pay a steep, steep price when they treat human beings like animals,’ the lawyer told the nypost.
Lane believes the dilemma of privatising health care behind bars and the attitudes of correctional administrators.
‘As long as jail and prison administrators view inmates as animals these kinds of things will continue to happen,’ he said.
Valentine was over eight months pregnant when she was arrested for the alleged probation violation, the lawsuit said. She said she was released several days after giving birth.