The shocking treatment of new mothers in one of Australia’s toughest prisons has been exposed once more, just days after it emerged an inmate watched her baby die after jail staff and a nurse allegedly refused to help.
Alisha – who wished to remain anonymous – told Daily Mail Australia she was housed inside the special unit at one of Australia’s toughest women’s jails when the newborn died in August 2019.
Daily Mail Australia last week reported on allegations that the baby girl passed away after staff wouldn’t render medical assistance because the infant wasn’t an inmate.
Alisha shed more light on the distressing case and revealed how she too allegedly suffered after being refused treatment behind bars despite complications with the birth of her baby.
Dame Phyllis Frost Centre now contains a room that no other inmate dares sleep inside of. It is the room where a newborn baby was left to die
Inside Dame Phyllis Frost: Inmates were out into lockdown for four days after a baby died in the dedicated Mothers and Children Units in August last year
Alisha told Daily Mail Australia she was housed inside the special Mothers and Children Unit at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Victoria when the newborn died.
‘The poor mother was allowed to carry her baby to the ambulance while it was passed away in her arms,’ she said.
‘Four hours later she was returned to the prison and expected to just act like nothing had happened.’
Alisha came forward with her own wretched tale behind bars after Daily Mail Australia exposed the tragic death of the 14-day old baby on Monday.
‘I was placed in jail at 27 weeks pregnant but chose to send my baby with family until I was released six months later,’ she said.
The young mum made the decision after the shocking treatment she received while still going through Melbourne’s court system.
‘The medical system inside the jail is useless,’ Alisha told Daily Mail Australia.
‘My waters broke at (Victoria’s) County Court and I was placed in the cells there for two hours until staff from the prison arrived in a car to pick me up.
‘I was then taken back to the prison and placed in a cell in medical for a further three hours while the prison sought permission from the manager of the jail to call a ambulance to transport me to hospital.’
Alisha said she was refused treatment by prison medical staff while she waited.
Dame Phyllis Frost houses some of the nation’s deadliest women, including gangland matriarch Judy Moran and the ‘Black Widow’ serial killer Robyn Lindholm.
Alisha said she returned to jail four days after giving birth, but not without complications.
‘I become extremely unwell with excessive bleeding and was lethargic,’ she said.
Alisha said she made three requests a day to see a doctor, but was routinely denied access to treatment.
‘After six weeks and three phone calls to the ombudsmen one of the prison staff contacted medical saying I needed urgent medical treatment,’ she said.
‘I was written up for two Panadol twice a day which I’d have to wait in line for for at least 40 mins each time.’
Alisha described her time behind bars as a living nightmare as prison guards sat by and watched her suffer.
‘One night I buzzed up to eight times to say I was in extreme pain and they said I’d be placed on the list for night medication,’ she said.
‘I sat up until 5am and did not receive any medical attention.’
Alisha said she only received treatment upon her release six long months later.
‘As the prison would not help me I become anemic from losing so much blood and have many other health issues,’ she said.
Women live together in large groups inside the women’s prison. Mums inside its dedicated unit live in fear their babies may not make it out of jail alive
Dame Phyllis Frost Centre can hold 604 inmates and contains a dedicated unit for mothers and their children, from babies up to to pre-schoolers
Inside a standard prison cell within the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. A coroner is expected to investigate how a baby died within its concrete walls
The mother remains traumatised by her experience behind bars.
‘I remember one time getting called up to have a blood test taken and when I walked in the nurse’s office she asked me “did you want to put the needle in yourself?”,’ she claimed.
‘I was very shocked and when asked her why would I, she stated: “a fair few girls are better at getting their veins than I am”.’
‘I walked out. The nurses at the prison basically place you over the other side of the room if you go in with things like the flu or something they think they may catch.
‘I sometimes wonder how people in there survive when doing long periods of time in prison. I was in there for 10 months and not once did I see medical staff go by what they call “duty of care”.’
Corrections Victoria has been contacted by Daily Mail Australia over the allegations.
The revelations follow on from claims prison staff who worked the night the infant died refused to help the baby girl.
Under the prison program, children up to the age of pre-school are allowed to live with mothers inside the maximum security jail.
Black Widow killer Robyn Lindholm calls Dame Phyllis Frost home. She is rumoured to have taken up a lesbian lover behind its concrete walls. She also enjoys gardening
Judy Moran lives in a disability unit inside a special section of Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. She was once the matriarch of the Moran crime family, which were all killed during Melbourne’s gangland war
A Department of Justice and Community Safety spokeswoman refused to comment on a series of allegations put to it about the incident and instead directed Daily Mail Australia to its website.
‘Victoria Police was called to investigate and provide a report for the Coroner,’ the spokeswoman stated.
Multiple sources have told Daily Mail Australia the tragedy occurred during the night when staffing was at a minimum.
Prisoners in the dedicated unit were asleep when they awoke to haunting screams from the young mother.
One inmate allegedly saw the motionless child on a couch with the hysterical mother crying for help.
A call was made to prison staff, who did not attend the unit for up to 15 minutes, it has been alleged.
A bird’s eye view of Melbourne’s notorious Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. It houses some of Australia’s worst female prisoners
Babies are made to wait for treatment inside Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Melbourne. One baby waited so long, she was dead by the time the nurse arrived
Another young mum in the unit, who had no CPR training, desperately tried to revive the baby, but was unsuccessful.
When guards arrived, they immediately called a ‘code black’ for the prison’s nurse, but made no attempt to resuscitate the little girl themselves.
Daily Mail Australia has been told it took the nurse a further 10-15 minutes before she arrived, by which time the baby was likely already dead.
But mothers inside the jail were stunned when the nurse refused to even touch the child, telling them she was not allowed to because the baby was ‘not an inmate’.
Prisoners were placed into lockdown for four days after the tragedy while police and prison authorities tried to piece together what had happened.
It is understood the mother of the child was a young Vietnamese woman, with very little local support.