Our last article discussed that our jails and prisons are the dumping grounds for the mentally ill. Dumping ground can also mean death for mentally ill inmates. According to a report by the Miami Herald,the Florida Department of Corrections fired the 32 correctional officers on September 19th after inmates have died because of criminal misconduct. The deaths occurred at four prisons in Florida.
One of the deaths involved a mentally ill inmate scalded to death. On June 23, 2012, an inmate, Darren Rainey, was locked in a locked closet-sized shower by prison guards after defecating in his cell and refusing to clean the mess. Rainey, because of his history of mental health issues, was incarcerated in the mental health unit at the Dade Correctional Unit in Miami, Florida. According to an inmate who worked at the unit as an orderly, the tiny shower was filled with steam and scalding water.
After one hour, the guards checked on Mr. Rainey. A medical document regarding his death noted that his skin was extremely burned and had shriveled from his body. The inmate, Mr. Hempstead, who allegedly witnessed the end of inmate Rainey, filed a grievance complaint stating that Mr. Rainey kept screaming, “I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” According to court records, the water temperature in the shower was approximately 180 degrees.
The system is broken. The incarceration of mentally ill inmates is insane.
By Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com