A pregnant woman was allegedly forced to give birth in a Florida jail cell after she asked for help and waited hours for it to come.
In a letter to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office obtained by CNN, public defenders Howard Finklestein and Gordon Weeks Jr. said Tammy Jackson’s request for help when she went into labor on April 10 was not answered.
At 3:16 a.m., staff at the North Broward Bureau, a special needs detention facility, did attempt to reach out to an on-call doctor but did not get in touch with individual until nearly 7:30 a.m. In turn, the doctor said they would check on Jackson when they arrived at the jail, according to the letter.
Jackson, who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was reportedly bleeding in her cell and “six hours and 54 minutes” after she initially asked for help, an employee “notified medical staff that Ms. Jackson was holding her newborn baby in her arms, having delivered the baby without medication or the assistance of a physician,” the letter said.
Two nurses and a doctor then reportedly attended to the new mother at the facility, according to CNN.
"The birth was not premature or unexpected," the letter continued. "Yet in her time of extreme need and vulnerability, BSO neglected to provide Ms. Jackson with the assistance and medical care all mothers need and deserve."
Shirley Nixon, Jackson’s mom, said her daughter was later transported to the Broward Health Medical Center, where Nixon was able to visit her and meet her new granddaughter, Miranda, on April 12.
Nixon said what happened to her daughter breaks her heart.
“It still hurts. They don’t even treat animals like that,” Nixon told InsideEdition.com. “Somebody needs to pay for what happened. I don’t know the laws are but I could have lost my child. I could have lost my grandbaby. You don’t treat people like that. I know they heard her screaming.”
Jackson is currently in a psychiatric ward while the baby is currently in the state’s custody, according to her mother. Nixon said a family member hopes to get custody of baby Miranda.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office told InsideEdition.com they immediately launched an internal affairs investigation upon hearing about Jackson’s delivery. Jackson was arrested in March on drug charges.