TAOS, NM (KRQE) - It's an unusual pickup at the county lock-up Thursday afternoon.
A nurse pops out of a door at the Taos County Adult Detention Center holding two small bags and hands them off to Shirley Reyes.
Those are bags full of something not usually associated with a jail, breast milk.
Reyes is the mother-in-law of Desiree Jenkins, an inmate who just checked into the jail this weekend. A drug charge from Jenkins' past that was held up in court has finally led to a jail sentence, one that's split Jenkins from her nearly four-month old baby girl Avelyssa.
But just a day into her sentence, Jenkins reported a problem.
"Early that morning she called her husband, she was in pain, obviously she was already engorged," Reyes said. "She had asked to pump and they had no resources."
So Reyes and breastfeeding advocates from around the country quickly started lobbying the jail's director Joe Sprunk to allow a breast pump behind bars.
While Reyes says there was a delay in getting approval, Sprunk says he was quickly on board.
"In this case having her provide breast milk for her baby, [it was] just a no-brainer," Sprunk told News 13.
So now every two to four hours during the day, Jenkins makes the walk to the jail's medical unit to pump in a private room.
Reyes says she doesn't see what her daughter-in-law is able to do as special treatment.
"Is it special treatment or is it a health issue?" Reyes said. "Or Is it just about a mother wanting to give as much as she can to her child."
Sprunk says he's writing up a breast milk policy for the jail so there isn't a question with future cases.
New Mexico Corrections Department spokesperson Alex Tomlin tells News 13 current state policy does not allow state prison inmates to use a breast pump.
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