Breast Pumps in Jail: Kudos to Taos!

In an unprecedented move, a County jail in New Mexico is providing accommodations for a breastfeeding mother to pump her breasts every few hours and have the product picked up by a family member for her four month old daughter. While there have been a few cases in the past of breast pump use allowed for short term detainees, this is the first case to my knowledge of a jail allowing for long term pumping accommodation (it appears mom is serving a possible five year sentence). Check out this video:

I am particularly impressed by the Detention Center Director Joe Sprunk. What he calls a “no brainer” is forbidden at nearly all detention facilities in the U.S. While I see some criticism of the Detention Center for not already having a policy in place, I say Joe Sprunk deserves some thanks. He is planning on putting a breast pump policy in place that will put a burden on the facility and for which he is under no current legal obligation.

Engorged inmates unquestionably have a medical issue, though most facilities do not treat the possibility of mastitis and other infection from engorgement to be an urgent medical issue. In the case where the facility acknowledges an issue, the best the inmate generally can receive is the ability to “pump and dump” until her supply dries up.

I say, let’s sent some lactation love to Taos County Detention Center Director Joe Sprunk. He can be emailed at joe.sprunk@taoscounty.org . Thank you Joe Sprunk!

UPDATE: Best for Babes reports: “The father reports that his wife has been transferred out of county jail and into a womans  correctional facility in Grants, NM where he will begin the process of advocating for his wife all over again.” A transfer to a state facility is consistent with the length of her sentence.

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Saturday Surfing April 22, 2013

[…] Breast Pumps in Jail: Kudos to Taos!, Sustainable Mothering – A County jail in New Mexico is providing accommodations for a breastfeeding mother to pump her breasts every few hours and have the product picked up by a family member for her four month old daughter.  Awesome!  (There’s a video from a news report here too.) […]