Courtney Montano had been in Santa Rita Jail on a probation violation for five days when she went into labor with her second child.
When she arrived at ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, she asked to call her mom or the baby’s father.
“They reminded me that I was in custody,” said Montano, recalling that lonely night in late February 2015. “So I didn’t get to call anybody, and I didn’t get to have anyone there.”
Over coffee one recent afternoon, Montano’s story of substance abuse, loss and redemption spills forth in a rush — she’s told it many times to fellow recovering addicts at Narcotics Anonymous meetings and to her case managers at Concord-based Shelter, Inc., which provided housing and support as a newly sober Montano sought to reunite with her elder daughter, Layla.