Resource: Bethany Cajune v. Lake County


April 6, 2011


Bethany Cajune was about five months pregnant when she was incarcerated in the Lake County Jail for traffic violations. She had been undergoing treatment for addiction to painkillers, but the jailers denied her the doctor-prescribed medication she needed to avoid going through withdrawal. Bethany consquently went through severe withdrawal, causing dehydration, nausea and vomiting. She lost 10 pounds in less than two weeks. She feared she would lose her baby. The ACLU of Montana and Bethany reached a settlement with Lake County in April 2011 to ensure that future pregnant prisoners with opiate dependencies will be referred to an obstetrical physician for evaluation and a treatment plan to prevent the dangerous effects of rapid opiate withdrawal.