Birth inside York prison cell prompts DOC probe

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East Lyme — Two health care employees who work within the York Correctional Institution have been asked not to report to work as officials investigate why a female inmate gave birth in her cell early Tuesday morning.

According to a state Department of Correction news release, the woman and her baby were treated on-site and transported to an area hospital as soon as employees discovered the birth. Both reportedly are in good health, according to the release.

Citing laws regarding health-related information, the DOC is withholding the woman's name.

According to the release, preliminary findings led officials to ask the two employees to stay home from work pending the results of the investigation.

Reached by phone Thursday, DOC spokesman Andrius Banevicius confirmed that employees were aware the woman was pregnant and that she had been receiving prenatal care.

Correctional Managed Health Care, a UConn Health agency that provides medical services for the DOC, employs the pair.

The circumstances that led to the birth inside the cell remain under investigation.

In the release, officials pointed out that pregnant women at York routinely get appropriate prenatal care. Per policy, the release states, they’re supposed to be transported to an outside hospital when they are in labor.

“Although the details of this incident are still unfolding, I cannot overstate how seriously this agency takes the health and (well-being) of the offender population,” Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple said. “The goal of health services within a correctional environment should always strive to meet the community standard of care.”

At a Jan. 26 forum at Quinnipiac University's North Haven campus, Jaclyn Lucibello, who served about three years at York between 2010 and 2014, said that correction officers at York were slow to respond when she began having contractions. She alleged she was shackled on her way to the hospital and when she gave birth.

Department of Correction spokesperson Karen Martucci said she could not comment specifically on Lucibello's case but, in general, "offenders in active labor are not placed in restraints."

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