Children are precious, and a mother to a newborn is supposed to nurture, love, and cherish that child.
Unfortunately for a 3-Month-Old baby in Florence, Alabama; the child's mother instead of providing compassion exposed the innocent life to drug abuse via cocaine.
30-year-old Regina Brown was recently tested for drug abuse following an arrest for possession of cocaine, where she claimed that the narcotic wasn't hers.
During that incident, the woman failed the drug screen, and since she was a mother to a young baby in the State of Alabama DHR (Department of Human Resources, Alabama’s version of Child Welfare and Children's Services) was brought in to investigate.
When DHR learned that Regina Brown was a breastfeeding mother, they immediately required the three-month-old child to be submitted for a drug screen.
The hair follicle test done on the child showed not only that the baby had been exposed to cocaine but had done so for a prolonged period of time.
Florence Police Sergeant Wesley Brown said that the tests were performed and with verification of the child having the narcotic in its system Brown was arrested and taken into custody.
"Ms. Brown's child had been in the care of DHR," Gargis said.
"It could be based on the behavior of the parent or information given to us by someone familiar with the parent," Spear said.
"It could also be that someone has seen or believes the person is using drugs. If there's a suspicion of drug use putting the child's safety at risk, that's something we look into."
Under ordinary circumstances if a parent is suspected or drug abuse or alcoholism DHR will request the parent to voluntarily submit themselves to a screen for either alcohol or drugs after performing a home welfare visit.
In the situations where a parent then refuses to submit, DHR will file a court petition and the case will go before a judge to determine an order as to whether or not the parent must take a mandatory test.
While Spear again could not give specifics the elapsed time between the initial suspicion of the mother’s drug abuse and the arrest this week seemingly implies that the mother refused to submit herself or the child to a drug analysis screening because it can take a month or more for a judge to hear the case.
"The test can eliminate or confirm the concern," he said. "We have a lot of drug cases. That's probably the largest reason children come into care."
Due to the overwhelming number of cases in Alabama and many states involving children exposed to narcotics Alabama has a specific law on the books for such circumstances, where Alabama women and pregnant mothers also can become felons under the "chemical endangerment of a child" statute.
<a href="http://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-26-infants-and-incompetents/al-code-sect-26-15-3-2.html"><h3>Alabama Code Title 26. Infants and Incompetents § 26-15-3.2</h3></a>
<blockquote>(a) A responsible person commits the crime of chemical endangerment of exposing a child to an environment in which he or she does any of the following:</blockquote>
<blockquote>(1) Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as defined in <a href="https://1.next.westlaw.com/Link/Document/FullText?findType=L&originatingContext=document&transitionType=DocumentItem&pubNum=1000002&refType=LQ&originatingDoc=Ie3f03c50b43411e6a5dff13425d5d91b&cite=ALSTS13A-12-260">Section 13A-12-260</a>. A violation under this subdivision is a Class C felony.</blockquote>
<blockquote>(2) Violates subdivision (1) and a child suffers serious physical injury by exposure to, ingestion of, inhalation of, or contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia. A violation under this subdivision is a Class B felony.</blockquote>
<blockquote>(3) Violates subdivision (1) and the exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or contact results in the death of the child. A violation under this subdivision is a Class A felony.</blockquote>
<blockquote>(b) The court shall impose punishment pursuant to this section rather than imposing punishment authorized under any other provision of law unless another provision of law provides for a greater penalty or a longer term of imprisonment.</blockquote>
<blockquote>(c) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this section that the controlled substance was provided by lawful prescription for the child, and that it was administered to the child in accordance with the prescription instructions provided with the controlled substance.</blockquote>
In this case, Regina Brown has not only potentially caused lifelong damages to her growing baby, who's now going to be finding real parents who will take care of the child, but has also ruined her own life.
Brown was arrested this past Monday on a Florence Police issued the warrant for exposing a child to narcotics.
The charge is considered what Alabama labels as a “Class C felony”, that is punishable by a maximum of up to 10 years in prison.
She is currently being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center with bail set at $5,000, which is incredibly low in my opinion but unlikely the drug addict will be able to pay.
Anyway, you look at it, nobody wins in this case. The child could have long-lasting health defects, now is without a mother, and the woman will be paid for by taxpayers for likely ten years in prison for her heinous actions.
There's no legitimate justice here because the damage is permanent to the child, and you and I have to pay for the costs.
People like this shouldn't exist on this Earth, and damn sure shouldn't have children.
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