July 4, 2014

The Human Cost - Part 3 - Darren Rainey's Counselor Speaks Out

When I read this email, my first response was deeply visceral. It reminded me of my last months filled with stress and anxiety. TCU was a hostile place to work - senior psychologists did nothing to make it better. The counselors got no emotional support except for what they could give each other.

Dear Mr. Mallinckrodt,

Imagine me leaving work for the weekend and coming back on a Monday with the belief that it is just another Monday but to find out that one of my inmates had “died over the weekend.” My initial reaction was shock and I uttered words such as, “What happened? Did he get sick?” The response was “no” and the gruesome shower details unfolded. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was stunned - and then deep sadness.

I started questioning humanity. How could this happen? Who could do such a cruel thing? My philosophy as a former employee of Corizon and the Department of Corrections was simply this: These guys were punished for committing a crime. They were put on trial and found guilty by the judge and the jury. It was not my job to play judge and jury. My job was to provide the service to the best of my abilities.

Most of the times, it was stressful and fearful for some of us because these inmates were reporting their injustices. When these guys were recounting the night Rainey was killed, you could see the fear on their faces. It still haunts me because they were afraid that they would be next.

The inmates were afraid for us too. They thought if they mentioned that we advised them to write a grievance, guards would retaliate against us. I was afraid that I would be targeted by the mental health administration because I was advising the inmates to write to them.

I can attest to that, because some of us experienced retaliation but not to the same degree as the inmates. It does not matter how many incident reports I had written because nobody followed through with any of them. Senior psychologists in the mental health administration need to stop saying “go with the flow or don’t rock the boat.” They need to be held accountable.

Thanks for sharing this,


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George Mallinckrodt