KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) -- For the fourth time, a Kosciusko County, Indiana mom will do time for refusing to bring her 7-year-old daughter to prison.
The child's father is serving a 15-year sentence for driving drunk and killing a passenger, yet Samuel Davis, Jr. successfully petitioned from prison and won monthly court-ordered visits from his daughter.
The mother, "Jennifer," says she brought the child to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility twice, but stopped after becoming convinced that the trips were causing her daughter emotional harm.
As a result, Jennifer has been repeatedly jailed for contempt of court.
“I know my kids will miss me, but I'll be able to talk to them on the phones and things like that, and I'll be out in 21 days,” she said Thursday, just hours before she was to turn herself in for her fourth stint in jail.
Parents make a lot of sacrifices for their kids, and for Jennifer, going to jail has become part of the routine.
“This is the craziest thing I've ever heard of, and Sam doesn't care about her, and he's just doing this to hurt me. I want to see it stopped,” she said.
Jennifer says she received a letter from Sam that amounts to an offer to make everything stop — if she paid him $250. The letter mentions his need for a TV, headphones and adapters.
“I had it right there in black and white, you know, 'you give me $250 and you scratch my back I'll scratch your back, and I'm not going to have the mother of my child thrown behind bars,'” Jennifer said.
She brought the letter to the court’s attention in the hopes that the case would be dismissed. Her motion was denied and Jennifer was sent to jail once again for contempt for refusing to visit an inmate who she says had restricted visiting privileges part of the time.
“He had his visitation, like contact visits taken away from September 25th to August 20th, and he said, ‘I don't have contact visits, but you can still bring her and I can still visit with her.’ And I wasn't sure what that meant, like video visitation? And that's what it was, and I said, why would I video visit with you in the prison, come there 400 miles away and spend all this money when I could do it on a computer?”
Court cases involving child are confidential, and documents and hearings are closed to the public. Jennifer went public in the hopes that someone out there could offer some help.
“I need, I do need help," she said. "I'm hoping this will jump start some kind of outreach from somewhere so I can fight this.”
Jennifer says she recently started a new job that she’ll likely lose as she serves her latest 21-day sentence. She says she is being represented by a public defender.
In her three previous stints in the lockup, Jennifer says she served a total of 32 days.