'It was horrifying,' says woman who gave birth in Broward jail

Tammy Jackson released after mental health evaluation

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Tammy Jackson -- the woman who gave birth, alone, in a Broward County jail cell -- is home Wednesday, and spoke to exclusively to Local 10 News about her ordeal.

Jackson suffers from a mental illness, bipolar schizophrenia, according to her mother, Shirley Nixon, who was with her when she was released from the hospital Wednesday after several days of mental health evaluation.

Her condition is delicate, and what happened to her is disturbing.

But, Jackson was determined to say what she had to say.

"If anything, blessed to be alive," Jackson said.

Her little girl, Miranda, who weighed 6 6 pounds, 7 ounces, was also released from the hospital Wednesday. Miranda is currently being cared for by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

"I'm glad she's out and hopefully, things will fall into place, She'll get her the help she needs, and I can get my grandbaby," Nixon said.

Nixon learned from me that her granddaughter was not born in the hospital where she first held her.

She was born at the North Broward Bureau. She also learned that her daughter was alone in an isolation cell when she went into labor.

"It was horrifying. It was horrifying," Jackson said. "When she fell, I had to bend down to pick her up and tell her, ‘I'm sorry. I didn't mean for that to happen.' She was still crying," Jackson said.

Later, at her home, I asked Jackson why she apologized to her baby.

"I didn't even get clean before I had her. Also, she had hit the floor, and to me that was hard because she was just coming out of me," Jackson said. "I just apologized for her being in the jailhouse. The situation, because I would rather for my mom to be by my side in the hospital with me having her."

Jackson was arrested this year and held on trespassing and drug charges.

She's struggled with homelessness and bipolar schizophrenia, according to her mother. An incident report details how a Broward County Sheriff's Office deputy saw Jackson inside her isolation cell the morning of April 10 "screaming in pain."

The deputy reported later hearing a baby crying and seeing Jackson holding her child in her arms before she was rushed to the hospital.

"It isn't a joke when it comes to pregnancy. And if they don't want to abide by that, they should get fired because I don't believe no woman should really have to go through that," Jackson said.

Asked if she thinks anyone will be held accountable for what happened, Jackson said, "No, but they should. It was neglect ... emotional abuse."

Jackson said she is looking forward to moving on from this and hopes to be reunited with her daughter soon.

On Wednesday, she gave herself a pep talk.

"You're a strong woman. Don't put yourself down not yet. Just be grateful and thankful that you're standing and, yes, you are strong," she said.

Jackson also thanked her public defender who worked to get her released on her own recognizance.

The public defender's office is working to see whether Jackson will be able to have her parental rights restored.

In the meantime, the internal affairs investigation into this incident continues.

About the Author:

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