A divorced 40-year-old mom in Ferndale, Detroit, Rebecca Bredow, was committed to 7 days in jail for refusing a court order to vaccinate her son. Bredow disagreed with her ex-husband, James Horne, on getting their 9-year-old son vaccinated.
But the child was eventually given four shots of vaccination while his mother was away in jail and in the custody of his father.
“You have seven days to get your child vaccinated…or I’ll send you to jail”
Oakland County Circuit Judge Karen McDonald had expressly warned Bredow on September 27 that she must get her son vaccinated within 7 days. The judge spelled it out to Bredow that she would be jailed if she failed to immunize her son within the 7 days given her.
“You have seven days to get your child vaccinated,” McDonald told Bredow. “If not, you will appear here Wednesday and if you have not, I’ll send you to jail. Let me say it one more time, you have seven days. It’s ridiculous. Don’t make me do that.”
But Bredow failed to comply with this warning, saying she found it difficult to bring herself to inoculate her son. Judge McDonald charged her for contempt of court and sentenced her to 7 days in jail.
But Bredow spent six days at the Oakland County Jail and then released. The jail has a policy of crediting inmates with one free day for every five days they serve. So Bredow was released after midnight on the sixth day.
Mom devastated for child’s immunization while she was away in jail
Bredow’s attorney, Steven Vitale, said his client was “devastated” on learning that his son got the immunizations while she was away.
Bredow broke down in tears when she heard the news on her release from jail. She then discussed how jail had been rough for her and the disappointment that she wouldn’t get back her son immediately after her release.
Bredow and Horne divorced several months before their child was born in 2008. Bredow had been in full custody of the boy since then, and Horne had only been allowed to take custody on a few weekends.
Judge McDonald has ordered that both parents share custody of the boy on a 50/50 basis from henceforth. Bredow’s attorney Vitale has 21 days to object to the judge’s order for split child custody.