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
April 2, 2018
Honorable Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2507 (Jones-Sawyer): County jails: infant and toddler breast milk feeding policy
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Gonzalez Fletcher:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports 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,” “the AAP firmly adheres to the position that 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, and it is clear that those mothers who are physically able to breastfeed their child should be encouraged to do so for at least 12 months. It is clear that we must extend this right to incarcerated mothers. 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 by 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) would help women incarcerated in county jails care for their children as best as they can, 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). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
cc: Honorable Reggie Jones-Sawyer, author
Members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne