Former inmates say jail cell looked like murder scene after inmate forced to give birth alone

Tammy Jackson, 34, was in isolation cell when she delivered baby, inmates say

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Two women who say they heard another inmate in agony as the inmate was forced to give birth by herself in a Broward County jail cell spoke with Local 10 News about what they witnessed.

Local 10 News reporter Layron Livingston spoke with both women days after they were released from jail.

They said they were in an area with other pregnant women, including 34-year-old Tammy Jackson, and were terrified by what they heard and saw, adding that someone should be held accountable.

"It was horrendous -- the worst experience ever. I hope I never ever hear or see anything like that ever again," one woman said. 

"What happened was completely inhumane," another woman said.  

Both former inmates, who will be referred to as witness 1 and 2, asked to remain anonymous. They both said they were housed with other pregnant women in April at the North Broward Bureau in Pompano Beach, where Jackson gave birth. 

"The way it's set up, it's all glass, so you can see and hear everything," witness 1 said.

Relatives said Jackson suffers from bipolar schizophrenia. We're told she was moved into a neighboring isolation cell the night before she gave birth alone in that same cell.

"She started telling them she was in labor and she was having pains," witness 1 said.

"Telling whom?" Livingston asked.

"The staff and the deputies," the woman said. 

"I remember, at one point, a bunch of nurses and deputies were over at her isolation cell," witness 2 told Livingston.

"Obviously, when your water breaks, it's a big mess," witness 1 said. "They opened up the cell door, got her new clothes and blankets, allowed her to change. She continued to voice that she was in labor. They told her, 'Don't worry about it. It's going to be a long time,' closed the door back and left her." 

"And she was screaming, like, bloody murder. Like screaming all night long," witness 2 said.

"It was horrible just to hear it and not be able to help someone, but in that situation, there's nothing we could do," witness 1 said.  

According to an incident report, an officer saw Jackson in her cell the next morning "squatting and screaming" in pain.

The officer then heard a baby crying and saw Jackson standing with her baby in her arms, the report stated.

"Everyone's screaming. We're banging on the glass and screaming. As soon as they saw that, they made everybody get away from the window," witness 1 said. 

The women said they later saw medics rush in to take Jackson and her baby to a hospital. A crew was also brought in to clean the cell, they said.

"It looked like someone was murdered in there," witness 1 said. 

"I can't even imagine, and she didn't even have anyone to hold her hand," witness 2 said. 

The former inmates said they hope Jackson gets justice for what she went through at the jail.

About the Author:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.