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Corrections officials refuse answers in grisly deaths of inmates at Dade prison

Inmate Darren RaineyThe purported details of Darren Rainey’s last hour are difficult to read.

“I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again,’’ he screamed over and over, according to a grievance complaint from a fellow inmate, as Rainey was allegedly locked in a shower with the scalding water turned on full blast.

A 50-year-old mentally ill inmate at the Dade Correctional Institution, Rainey was pulled into the locked shower by prison guards as punishment after defecating in his cell and refusing to clean it up, said the fellow inmate, who worked as an orderly. He was left there unattended for more than an hour as the narrow chamber filled with steam and water.

When guards finally checked on prisoner 060954, he was on his back and dead. His skin was so burned that it had shriveled from his body, a condition referred to as slippage, according to a medical document involving the death.

But nearly two years after Rainey’s death on June 23, 2012, the Miami-Dade medical examiner has yet to complete an autopsy and Miami-Dade police have not charged anyone. The Florida Department of Corrections halted its probe into the matter, saying it could be restarted if the autopsy and police investigation unearth new information.

“They told people that he had a heart attack,’’ said a source close to the prison system with knowledge of the case.

The shower treatment was only one form of punishment inflicted by the prison’s guards to keep mentally ill patients in line, according to the inmate/orderly and two other sources privy to the goings-on at the state prison.

The inmate/orderly, a convicted burglar named Harold Hempstead serving a decades-long sentence, filed repeated formal complaints, beginning in January 2013, with the DOC inspector general, alleging that prison guards subjected inmates — housed in the mental health unit — to extreme physical abuse and withheld food from some who became unruly. The complaints were sent back, most with a short, type-written note saying the appeal was being returned “without action” or had already been addressed.

In September, another inmate was found dead inside his cell. Richard Mair, 40, hanged himself from an air conditioning vent.

According to the police report, Mair left a suicide note in his boxer shorts claiming he and other prisoners were sexually and physically abused on a routine basis by guards.

DOC officials declined to be interviewed for this story. A spokeswoman said Friday that the agency would provide public records in response to the newspaper’s formal written requests, but no comments.

Over the past several weeks, the newspaper has requested maintenance records, grievance logs, prison death records, guards’ disciplinary records and emails by administrators, including DCI Warden Jerry Cummings.

As of Friday, the agency had released a handful of documents: a single report about a prison guard admonished for falling asleep on duty last year; brief, coded disciplinary records for Hempstead, Rainey and several other inmates who Hempstead says were also subjected to searing hot showers as punishment; and a heavily redacted copy of the DOC inspector general’s report on Rainey’s death.

More here from Julie K. Brown.

Photo: Darren Rainey, who died after being placed in excruciatingly hot shower by guards as punishment Florida Department of Corrections


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/17/4123183/behind-bars-a-brutal-and-unexplained.html#storylink=cpyMore here from Julie K. Brown.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/17/4123183/behind-bars-a-brutal-and-unexplained.html#storylink=cpy

Comments

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D

Who cares about this lowlife. Stop writing articles trying to make people care about monsters like this. If you commit a crime you deserve a miserable prison experience, not some country club atmosphere.

Tony

Seems to me the monsters are still among the living and collecting pay and benefits, not cooked in a cell or driven to suicide. DOC has numerous records of brutal officer atrocities that result in serious harm or death to inmates. Our tax dollars at work. Most of those inmates will return to our neighborhoods and it's in our best interest that they be mentally and physically healthy. Their punishment is supposed to be incarceration not torture.

rico

Tony... you cannot believe all that you read or what comes from an inmates mouth. Had there been any wrong doing on the officers part there would have been discipline. I can tell you that is a fact!!!

Tom Reynolds

The line waiting to enter an eternity of hell is filled with prison guards, Fl. police/deputies/sheriffs, politicians, and most of all state prosecutors. But I got some good news for those people I just mentioned,it was not my family member, a relative of mine or any of my friends. I would like to write more on this subject, but I need to go ask God to forgive me for all the revengeful thinking and thoughts of commandment breaking that has come over me after reading this horrifying death of a mentality ill man. God Please step in here !

Hmmmm...

A spokeswoman said Friday that the agency would provide public records in response to the newspaper’s formal written requests, but no comments.

If this is written correctly... it is a violation of open records laws...

Public Service Matters

The FDC does not have to release all records that would affect the security of inmates & staff. If the allegations are true then the Officers should face charges. The staff are not there to provide discipline, they are there to maintain effective control & supervision in accord with state & federal law.

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