MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The woman wanted by police because her baby was born addicted to drugs turned herself in Monday.
Jamillah Washington is the first woman in Shelby County, and just the second in the state of Tennessee, to face charges under a new state law that criminalizes drug use while pregnant. In other states, prosecutors aren’t able to charge mothers for drug use during pregnancy, although several states classify it as a child welfare offense.
Last Wednesday, a warrant for simple assault was issued for Washington, who gave birth July 5 at a local hospital.
Medical personnel drug tested the baby, then notified DCS after receiving the positive results.
DCS then informed MPD on July 17 that the baby was addicted to drugs. The Sex Crimes/Juvenile Abuse completed its own investigation and then issued the warrant.
Friends of Washington said last week she was waiting to turn herself in until she had collected bail money.