June 14, 2014

My posted comments to Julie Brown's article, "Prison system reopens probe into inmate’s scalding."

How can Florida DOC Secretary Michael Crews "build upon the existing training and resources staff has received" when there was nothing there in the first place? Simply more rhetoric to placate the masses. He's not being truthful.

Having worked as a psychotherapist in the Transitional Care Unit where Darren Rainey was killed, I can confirm the fact that there were absolutely NO trainings for the corrections officers that worked in TCU. Guards had no clue how to deal with the mentally ill. As for resources - same story - there were none. And "de-escalation," the guards did anything but, despite DOC rules.

Men on my caseload were routinely manhandled for tiny infractions. One weighing no more than 140 pounds was smashed to the concrete floor by two beefy guards opening a gash on his forehead requiring multiple stitches to close. Minimum force was an unfamiliar concept. The weak and the mentally ill were cannon-fodder for the sadistic guards at Dade CI.

When I met with Warden Jerry Cummings to discuss the beating of inmate Joseph Swilling and other inmate abuse, he promised to put in place an Educational Training Module. IT NEVER HAPPENED.

For those who are interested, these are the DOC rules that govern the conduct of guards. How do I violate thee? Let me count the ways.

Chapter 33 Use of Force 33-602.210:
(10)  Only reasonable, lawful, and the minimal amount of force necessary shall be employed to control the situation.

(m)  Any employee or officer who witnesses, has reasonable cause to suspect, or has knowledge that any inmate has been a victim or subject of an unlawful battery or has been abused in violation of law or the Department’s administrative rules shall without unnecessary delay report the incident…

…No employee shall commit a battery on or engage in cruel or inhuman treatment of any inmate.  

Welcome to the DOC "dodge and weave" strategy. Prediction: The DOC will serve up a few heads on a silver platter, cart out a shiny new program for the humane treatment of the mentally ill, and make a grand announcement that everything is just fine - complete with a photo op featuring a bunch of grinning politicians.

One problem. It will be the DOC administering the whole thing. THEY CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Another case of the fox guarding the henhouse. When an independent agency is set up with the legal means to punish and prosecute guards, I'll be there right along with toothy politicians for the roll-out! 

If Crews and DOC Inspector General Jeffrey T. Beasley really wanted to review their practices transparently, they should talk to the civilians who worked at Dade CI. We all have first hand knowledge of how TCU declined step by step into the living hell it became for those like Darren Rainey.

Given the killing of Damian Foster in Julie Brown's, "After the latest death, Florida prison system faces more scrutiny," clearly the problem is systemic in nature. When I still worked there, inmates from around the state described beatings they suffered or witnessed. Abuse of inmates is happening in every prison in Florida.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 17, 2014

    Thank God for George Mallinckrodt, the man who has done what many have been afraid to do...what I was afraid to do. The horrors at TCU need to stop; all those "in charge" must be investigated and held accountable. This includes Dr. Bermudez and Dr. Perez. Mr. Rainey died the most heinous, merciless death one can imagine; Mr. Mair thought it better and more dignified to take his own life than to endure the pain and humiliation that bored and sadistic guards considered as entertaining.
    The Transitional Care Unit of Dade Correctional Institution is what nightmares are made of. May Mr. Rainey and Mr. Mair find peace and justice. May the DOC all over America hang their heads in shame....may they find patience, tolerance and compassion for the mentally ill.


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George Mallinckrodt