May 20, 2015

One Year Exactly Since Coming Forward Publicly in Miami Herald Reporter Julie Brown's Second Prison Brutality Story

Today, May 20th, is the one year anniversary since I came forward in the Miami Herald article entitled, Former workers describe 'chronic' torture. That day, at my girlfriend Debbie's insistence, I was going to change the title of my book from GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER to THE HUMAN WAREHOUSE. Upon reading the story, my girlfriend retracted and said, "I guess you can't change it now!"

I started writing my book in August 2012 in frustration over the many dead ends I encountered while trying to get Darren Rainey justice. In Chapter 1, The Murder, I wrote: I knew that once something was put into motion, outcomes could become wildly unpredictable. Little did I know this would be the case and then some. Never in my wildest imagination, and I've got a wild one, could I have predicted the events that unfolded, people I have met, and the impact on the issue of prison brutality  that I've had.

Before I launch into a brief recap of the year, I'd like to give credit to the many reporters who bit into this issue like a rabid pit bull and shook it violently until the dirty secrets of the FL DOC started landing all around us. Apparently, corruption, retaliation, brutality, and secrecy have plagued the FL DOC for years.

Miami Herald - Julie Brown, Fred Grimm, Mary Ellen Klaus, and editor Casey Frank. Over 70 articles and op-eds detailing abuses have been published so far. Brown won three journalistic awards. Many other Herald reporters contributed as well. I even managed to get my opinion piece published. For them, it's not about selling newspapers, it's about doing the right thing.

Palm Beach Post - Pat Beall did a terrific series exposing the rampant medical negligence of private medical providers Corizon Health and Wexford. Between them they have nearly 1700 malpractice lawsuits pending. Beall also won a national journalism award.

Sun-Sentinel - Mike Mayo interviewed me soon after I had met him on the set of Michael Putney's show, This Week in South Florida, where I appeared with Julie Brown and Judge Steve Leifman.

Many other reporters contributed as well: Sascha Cordner - WFSU, Garin Flowers - WTSP, and Nicole Flatow - ThinkProgress, to name a few.

My major highlights for the year include:

·                 Publishing GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER the first week in August 2014.

·                 Launching my book at Book & Books with the help of owner Mitch Kaplan. He supports many local authors as an independent bookseller.

·                 Being asked by Civil Rights attorneys Parks & Crump to speak at a press conference in Tallahassee for Latandra Ellington who was killed in prison under very suspicious circumstances. 

·                 Speaking before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee about my work as a psychotherapist in the prison psychiatric ward at the Dade Correctional Institution. Talking at length with Chairman Senator Evers in person before the hearing gave me a good sense of the man. He's determined to fix the FL DOC. Two weeks later the CJC put forth prison reform bill SB 7020.

·                 Being a guest on more than a dozen radio and TV shows including some Spanish shows. I've posted about half on my website so far.

Perhaps the best highlight was a Miami Herald story published today entitled, Scalding-shower death in Dade prison prompts federal probe. The US Department of Justice's Civil Rights division has started an investigation into the death of Darren Rainey. Perhaps there will be justice after all. Maybe it will be the beginning of a deep house-cleaning in the FL DOC. Time will tell… 


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George Mallinckrodt