SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — An inmate went into labor and the baby was born at Salt Lake County Jail, officials said Thursday.
“On Feb. 20, an inmate went into labor and the baby was delivered,” said a news release from Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “Both were transported to the hospital in good condition.”
Due to HIPPA and other privacy protections for both the mother and baby, no additional information will be provided at this time, the statement said.
“The medical unit at the Salt Lake County Jail offers comprehensive, on-site medical services 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” the news release said. “The jail works closely with local ambulance and hospital services to transport patients needing serious or specialized care.”
The unit includes nurses, EMTs, and mental health professionals. They are supported by a team of contract doctors that make regular visits in the facility. The team visits inmates in housing units and in on-site medical offices when requested. They also provide regular checkups, dispense prescribed medications, help inmates manage chronic conditions, provide mental health counseling, and more.
“The medical professionals that work in the Salt Lake County Jail are a critical part of our team,” said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera. “The care they provide is essential for keeping our facility safe and healthy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this team had done an excellent job in minimizing the disease’s impact on our inmates and our facility.”
Pregnant women who are criminally justice-involved can be ordered to serve time in the jail by a judge, the news release said. Due to the size of the Salt Lake County Jail, the medical team has experience working with pregnant inmates.
“Babies have been born in the jail before,” said Health Authority, Nurse Rob Ballard. “Some women experience a very short labor making it nearly impossible to transport them to the hospital before delivery.”
Rivera added: “The Salt Lake County Jail will continue to provide the necessary medical care to individuals committed to our custody by a judge. I want to thank our medical team for all they do to serve our inmates and the county.”