York Correctional Institution

Medical staff at York Correctional Institution delivered a baby last week to a woman who had entered the prison on domestic violence charges the day before.

The woman, who state Department of Correction officials said was in her early 20s, gave birth within minutes of alerting staff that she thought she was in labor on Sept. 18, the agency said.

Mother and baby are doing well and receiving medical care, said DOC Commissioner Angel Quiros.

The birth comes months after the state settled with a female inmate who gave birth in a toilet at York CI despite repeatedly asking for help, court documents said.

The woman who gave birth last week was eight months pregnant, detoxing from opiates, and being held on charges of violation of a protective order when she arrived at York CI the day before, officials said.

The woman said she had no prenatal care so prison staff “took all necessary precautions to provide enhanced medical care,” the agency said. She was housed in the medical unit so she could be closely monitored, officials said.

The baby was born in the medical unit before an ambulance could arrive, the DOC said. The mother and the child were taken to an area hospital for further evaluation, officials said. Her name was not released due to confidentiality concerns.

A “preliminary” review of the treatment documentation showed DOC policies were followed and that the woman had “multiple” contacts with nursing staff throughout the night, the agency said. Her last assessment was two hours before she told staff that she believed she was in labor.

Quiros commended the prison’s medical team for following the agencies protocols and moving quickly to deliver the baby safely when it appeared the birth was minutes away. “I am proud that our medical team was prepared to receive this woman, and she was able to receive the necessary resources and attention required for a woman going through prenatal care,” Quiros said.

The same type of medical attention was denied to Tianna Laboy in 2018, according to federal court documents filed by her attorney. 

Laboy entered York CI in 2017 eight weeks pregnant with twins. She was 19 at the time. The prison health care system was running the University of Connecticut’s Correctional Managed Health Care under Commissioner Scott Semple.

During the pregnancy one of the twins died making her at even higher risk for complications, her attorney said. But according to a federal lawsuit filed by Laboy, she was about 35 weeks pregnant when she began feeling contractions and pain but she was either turned away or not adequately treated for nearly a week before she gave birth to the baby in a toilet.

State officials continued to battle the lawsuit before finally agreeing to a $250,000 settlement in December 2020. Laboy is serving a seven-year sentence for a non-fatal stabbing, court records show.