Would require, on or before July 1, 2019, the Secretary of the Department Corrections and Rehabilitation, each county sheriff, each superintendent of an industrial farm or industrial road camp, and, with respect to a juvenile ranch, camp, or forestry camp, the Board of State and Community Corrections, to develop and implement an infant and toddler breast milk feeding policy for lactating inmates or wards, as applicable, that is based on currently accepted best practices.
AAP Positional Letter
September 25, 2018
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor of the State of California
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2507 (Jones-Sawyer): County jails: infant and toddler breast milk feeding policy.
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Governor Brown:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, respectfully requests your signature on proposed legislation AB 2507 (Gonzalez Fletcher), which would require each county sheriff to develop and implement an infant and toddler breast milk feeding policy for lactating inmates detained in county jails.
According to the AAP Policy Statement Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, “breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant.” This has been established over many decades of scientific research. Those mothers of newborns who are physically able to breastfeed their child and choose to do so should be supported in that choice for at least the first 12 months of their infant’s life. To be deprived of the myriad short- and long-term health benefits of breast milk simply because their mother is incarcerated is an injustice whose effects are felt not only by the individuals in question, but also society as large, as children who struggle with their emotional or physical health are more likely to require public support later in life.
AB 2507 (Jones-Sawyer) extend the benefits of breast-feeding to the at-risk and vulnerable population of infants whose mothers are incarcerated, by assuring that each county jail system will implement a policy on infant and toddler breast milk feeding.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state strongly support proposed legislation AB 2507 (Jones-Sawyer) and urge your signature. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Honorable Reggie Jones-Sawyer, author
Members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne