Pregnant Silverdale inmate loses child; blames jail
By Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Family members of Countess Clemons say they couldn't sit silent after learning the 18-year-old lost her newborn baby.
Clemons was serving time at Silverdale Workhouse for two counts of assault and stalking when she went into labor Saturday.
The family claims she was left in a cell for hours, and her screams for help were ignored.
"She was laid out there too long and they didn't look after her. If they did, the child might have been here," says Clemons' cousin Tracey Toney.
Clemons didn't want to go on camera due to the terms of her sentence, but told Channel 3 off camera, she was in lockdown crying for help.
She claims when the guards came, she was lying in a pool of blood.
She was then taken to Erlanger where the child was pronounced dead shortly after birth.
"I don't like the way she was treated and I don't like the fact we lost a child. A family member," says Toney.
Silverdale didn't go into specifics, but didn't deny something happened.
They issued this statement: "Medical privacy requirements prohibit us from discussing the specific medical conditions of inmates. CCA is committed to ensuring that inmates receive appropriate access to healthcare."
Roland Clemons, Countess' father said it was something he couldn't bear to talk about.
"I was just so hurt you know, and I can't hardly stand to think about that," says Clemons.
The Corrections Corporation of America operates Silverdale. They would not give any information about protocol with pregnant inmates.
Clemons told me, she received no prenatal care while in custody.
Hamilton County does not house female inmates.
Bradley County Jail officials said they keep pregnant inmates under a close medical eye given the sensitive nature of the situation.
Clemons' son's death hasn't been determined, but her family is planning a funeral and talking with a lawyer.