Prison nursery renamed for fallen officer

From Local Sources


INDIANAPOLIS — The nursery at the Indiana Women’s Prison is being renamed for fallen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Breann Leath.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday — the day Leath was laid to rest — that the Wee Ones Nursery at the Indiana Women’s Prison would be renamed as the “Officer Breann Leath Memorial Maternal & Child Health Unit.”

Holcomb made the announcement at the beginning of his daily coronavirus pandemic press briefing at his Statehouse office.

Prior to inviting Department of Correction Commissioner Rob Carter to speak, Holcomb spoke to Leath being an incredible human being who also had a profound impact on everyone she came in contact with. The governor also spoke about her influence on fellow co-workers as well as offenders during her service as a correctional officer at the Indiana Women’s Prison.

Carter mentioned Leath’s commitment to the babies born at the women’s prison and how she helped care for them as though they were her own.

The announcement and the presentation of a memorial poster with Leath’s picture and the new name of the child health unit came on the 12th anniversary of the unit’s opening.

Later in the afternoon, according to the Indiana Department of Correction, several of Leath’s former co-workers from the IDOC visited her patrol car and participated in the community balloon release to commemorate Leath’s life and commitment to public service.

Among those attending was a current IDOC employee, Maggie Bryant, who is the Indiana Women’s Prison Public Information Officer.

“Officer Leath was a true example of an officer dedicated not only to safety and security of the prison infant unit, but also exemplified the goal to help incarcerated women become good mothers before leaving prison by making the IDOC mission her mission,” Bryant said. “All of us who knew Breann were heartbroken over her senseless death and want her family and IMPD co-workers to know Breann will not be forgotten.”

The IDOC says the women’s prison’s child health unit is a unique experience which has the goal of building strong families by allowing eligible incarcerated and pregnant mothers to keep their infants with them until their release.

The nursery welcomed its first infant into the program on April 16, 2008, with the sole mission of maintaining the bond between mother and child. Since then, the program has admitted over 300 pregnant offenders to the program and welcomed over 200 infants into the world.

The child health unit encourages the preservation of family by providing incarcerated mothers and their children a meaningful transition into the community. The unit utilizes a holistic approach for the continuum of care by recognizing the mother’s strengths and barriers to social determinants of health, according to the IDOC.

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