36 Responses to Frog Gravy: Pregnancy Disaster in Jail

  1. Xena says:

    Crane-Station. You are so talented. I love your writing. So, why did I come away from reading this feeling depressed and hopeless?

    Power, such as with jail security and others, without compassion is — well, I can’t think of a strong enough word to describe it. I am reminded of the shower/gassing scene in the movie “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas.”

  2. Valerie says:

    Crane-Station..I just read this article on Huffington Post and thought about your article. Treatment of prisoners is so inhumane.


  3. Olivia says:

    I want a signed copy from the first print!

  4. Olivia says:


    Where can I buy the entire book? E-book, paper back or hardback?

  5. fauxmccoy says:

    crane — i love your writing, i love frog gravy and i cannot make myself read this piece again, please forgive me. it is too damn heart breaking.

    • Olivia says:

      If I had the entire book in hand, I’d probably find it very hard to not read it front to back in one afternoon or evening.

      • fauxmccoy says:

        olivia — it is all on crane’s web site and what you are suggesting is exactly what i did. i might have nodded off for a couple of hours a few times, but i was engrossed and entranced for a 3 day weekend. i cannot recommend it highly enough.


        • Olivia says:

          fauxmccoy, I’m going to have to find the chapter written after the one above.

          I’ve read at her site beginning at the first month’s postings, but thought the writings ended somewhere around month 4-5.

          Thanks for letting me that all of the “chapters” are at the site. I am so looking forward to reading the remaining ones!

          I think she has a best-seller!

          • fauxmccoy says:

            it is not arranged in chapter format or even chronological order, olivia, but that does not detract in the slightest. it is a collection of essays, each one standing eloquently on their own, although there is a recurring cast of familiar characters.

          • Olivia says:


            Admit it. You’d love to have the book.

          • Thanks you guys. If you visit the old site, the chapters are all mixed up, and there are a couple of times when I was making up names for inmates, where I actually named the same inmate with a couple of names. I’ll correct all this stuff on edit.

  6. Note: The subject of shackling pregnant inmates in labor is one of controversy. I am not sure if this practice is even legal anymore.

    Just glancing, I see that California, I believe, has outlawed this medieval practice .

    I don’t even think the Romans did crap like this, even though they didn’t have any problem killing people for not paying their taxes.


    • Olivia says:

      Maricopa County/Joe Arpaio were condemned for it, but I don’t know whether they’ve been forced to stop.

      • Phoenix? Let me see.

        Looks like it has been banned. They got sued, of course.

        I wish Richard Carmona had won in Arizona. He came pretty close.. He would not put up with stuff like that.

    • Olivia says:

      Crane-Station, the last sentence of the article (at the link you posted) is why your writings are so valuable:

      “It’s still hard to believe that guards would ignore such persistent cries of agony—except in a society like ours, where prisoners are no longer viewed as human beings.”

      Specifically, “. . . where prisoners are no longer viewed as human beings.”

      Your writings show the faces; the personalities of people that happen to be confined to places called prisons.

      Human beings.

      • Thank you. This is what I had hoped. ‘Inmates’ have names, faces, families, children and histories. I wanted to bring some reality and humanity to the secret society of mass incarceration.

        I can only hope that Governor Beshear has changed things since, but in 2009, Kentucky deliberately and specifically eliminated all treatment of any kind at all, including 12-step meetings, to nonviolent drug offenders, and warehoused them back in the jails. For the money. No treatment. No education. No job or work. No recreation or exercise. 24/7 in cement and steel.

        An hour a day outside the cell for exercise in Kentucky jail was fiction, in 2008-2009. They kept people entombed, for weeks, even months at a time. That was the reality.

    • Olivia says:

      A person would likely be charged with animal abuse if they shackled a laboring cat or dog’s 4 legs.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      I’m surprised CA outlawed it, but glad. There’s tons of other bad stuff that goes on in prisons here, of course.

  7. Also note: I do not know enough about pregnancy to ask the right questions, so, for example, I don’t have any idea about the whys of what happened- prematurity, trauma…I don’t know.

    Sadly, it is not unheard of, for either a pregnant inmate or her baby, or both, to die in a jail, and later on, when I was in the prison, a woman went into labor and the guards told her she was not in labor. She swore at them, “I know when I’m in fucking labor.”

    They handcuffed her and took her to the hole and left her there, to birth the baby alone on the cement floor, to the horror of inmates who were mothers, in adjacent cells.

    This happens in this country, ladies and gentlemen.


    • Two sides to a story says:

      Yes it does. Happens in any state at any time. There are plenty of people incarcerated with serious medical problems and they are often just glanced at by a nurse about 3 times in 24 hours.


  8. Deborah Moore says:

    This chapter is especially dramatic and heart-wrenching.
    This happened in Kentucky, is that correct? And, in what year?
    When my friend was incarcerated in Mexico in the early 70’s, there was another American inmate who got pregnant – they had regular conjugal visits at the Men’s prison down the road – and this young women not only had her baby right there at the prison, but was able to keep the child with her until her third year. Child stayed with her mother in the evenings and night and spent the day in the children’s day care center – the Guadaria.
    And, that was Freakin’ Mexico!
    Somewhere in my research, there’s a photo of mother and child behind bars.

    • Deborah Moore says:

      Sorry, hon, I see in italics above you said Kentucky in 2008 and 09. I’ll have more coffee before I embarass myself further.

    • No conjugal visits, of course, in America, for many many years now.

      I will say this much. Governor Beshear has acted to try to prevent stuff like this, and he has also reduced the maximum sentencing for the ridiculous, bogus personal use amounts of weed type sentences, where the nonviolent harmless inmate was doing more time than the murderer, easily.

      He has done that. When a prison inmate in Kentucky gives birth, the baby is given to the care of Amish/Mennonite women who are extremely caring and loving, and then the mother has regular visits with the baby as well.

      The ministry has a specific mission to reunite these families, so these babies are not available for adoption:


      Under Beshear, were I to be sentenced to the maximum possible time today, it would be six years, as opposed to ten, under the prior administration. I got eight. Because they hate my guts.

      Many, if not most people may have received probation, or a light sentence, but they were hell bent, in my case.

      You get a little outspoken in Kentucky and they get all uppity. So, when I told them to go get fucked, I wouldn’t plead guilty even if they offered me a vacation, I suppose that, along with my husband’s whistleblowing was a bit too much uh….left coast for their liking. LOL.

  9. Endless Summer says:

    Crane-Station, this account is fascinating and horrifying. Thanks for publishing it here for us.

    Sorry to go off topic but the KKK now wants to become America’s Neighborhood Watch:


    Of course, it’s not about race.

    • This group of people strikes me as particularly dangerous. My limited understanding is that they recruit often, in the men’s prisons. From a more dangerous group of offenders. I could be wrong but I have a relative who is a lawyer in Arkansas, who has sent me some things. I watch some of these KKK speeches and just shake my head, like this can’t be real. But it is.

      • Olivia says:

        “My limited understanding is that they recruit often, in the men’s prisons”:

        When do you think you’ll publish the book about that? (:

        Girl, you’ve got talent, and you’ve got the inside scoop. I see a series of books . . .

        • I can’t do much with the men’s side of the prison experience, but there is a man who is currently writing.

          John Kiriakau is a federal inmate, a nonviolent former CIA official and whistleblower. He is writing, and Firedoglake is publishing every word. He would be a better resource than me, with the men’s incarceration- who is coming in and ‘recruiting,’ for example.


          Mr. Kiriakous, who is nonviolent and harmless, is housed only steps away from pedophiles and violent offenders, in this system that makes no sense. He reports that he has about 16 more months to go, on a (rather hefty) 30 month sentence. I hope we get 16 months of straight truth from Mr. Kiriakous, I really do. I am so glad he is writing.

  10. Yeah. Welcome to the Gulag Kentucky-Peligo, everyone. This post with the time stamps is word-for-word what I recorded in the cell, as it was happening. I mailed the notes to my parents in Seattle the next day, as was my practice with my notes, lest they be confiscated.

    Tell Me. What did that baby and that woman ever do to deserve being shackled and walked about the jailhouse hallways, during an obstetric emergency?

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