Jail Denies Lactating Mom Use of Breast Pump

August 18, 2016

Christina Milliner is the mother of a premature infant whom she breastfeeds every few hours based upon the advice of her doctor.  She is also on probation, and after missing several probation appointments due to problems finding childcare she was ordered by a judge to spend two weekends in the Ingham County Jail in August 2016. 

Christina told jail officials that she needed to pump milk for her baby on a regular schedule or would suffer excruciating pain, but her pleas were ignored and her breast pump was taken away.  The ACLU of Michigan immediately sent a letter to the jail, warning officials that allowing Christina to suffer in this way constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and put her at risk of a serious infection that could endanger her own health as well as that of her child. 

Upon receiving our letter jail officials immediately promised that they would allow Christina to pump milk while in jail and store it for her family to pick up and give to her baby.  They also promised to issue a directive to make all staff aware that mothers must be permitted to pump milk while in jail. 

(ACLU of Michigan Attorneys Miriam Aukerman and Dan Korobkin; National ACLU Attorney Galen Sherwin.)

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