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Mentally ill inmates ‘tortured,’ brutalized regularly at Miami prison [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-5-23 00:10:28 |Display all floors
Mentally ill inmates locked up in a Miami, Florida prison are routinely tormented and abused for sport by a clique of correctional officers and staff, a former psychiatrist at the prison claims in a disturbing new report.

                  George Mallinckrodt worked as a psychotherapist at the Dade  Correctional Institution, a facility near Miami with a capacity  of 1,563 inmates, from 2008 to 2011.During that time, he said, a  50-year-old convict named Darren Rainey was pushed into an  enclosed shower and forced to endure a shower of scalding hot  water for more than an hour, a torturous experience that  ultimately killed him.

  The incident is just one example of brutality Mallinckrodt  described to the Miami Herald, which has published extensive  coverage of the allegations this week.

  Mallinckrodt wrote a letter to the paper claiming that officers  “taunted, tormented, abused, beat and tortured chronically  mentally inmates on a regular basis” with the goal of  infuriating the prisoners so they would react violently, thus  making it possible for the guards to then punish the prisoner.  The antagonism has gone on past Mallinckrodt’s time at the jail,  he said, with a current employee informing him of Rainey’s death,  which occurred on June 23, 2012.

  He is the first former employee to substantiate a claim from an  inmate who has sought to publicize the type of abuse prisoners  are exposed to. Mallinckrodt contacted the Herald after reading  an article in the Sunday edition of the paper that included a  description of Rainey’s death. He learned of Rainey’s death in a  phone call from a prison nurse who said she overheard a guard say  “I don’t think we can get away with this one” when word began to  spread.

  “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,” wrote Herald reporter  Julie Brown in the article that inspired Mallinckrodt to  come forward.

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

  No one has been deemed responsible for Rainey’s death, and at  least two prison sources who wish to remain anonymous told the  Herald other inmates have been threatened with the shower  treatment.

  The Miami Dade Police Department has opened an independent  investigation into Rainey’s death.

  Many of Mallinckrodt’s assertions came from his experience  working directly with inmates. One, Joseph Swilling, showed the  psychotherapist evidence of injuries he claimed to sustain when  he was handcuffed behind the back, thrown on the ground, and  kicked repeatedly. Richard Mair, who committed suicide inside  Dade last year, left a note accusing staff of sexually abusing  the inmate population and forcing black and white inmates to  square off against each other in a kind of gladiatorial  entertainment for guards.

  Mallinckrodt now works in his own private practice, but  maintained that he had taken his concerns about the condition  inside Dade to the warden, as well as the inspector general but  has not received any response. The mental health unit inside the  prison sits under the watchful eye of a surveillance camera,  although when the Department of Corrections was approached about  turning over the tape the Herald was rebuffed, one of the paper’s  many issues with the facility.

  “You don’t say with a straight face, as the inspector  general’s office did, that the security camera that could have  shed light on how a mentally ill inmate was scalded to death,  locked in a blazing hot shower – whoops! – malfunctioned just  after a corrections officer put the inmate in a stall,” the  paper wrote in an editorial published Tuesday.

  “However, this abomination is symptomatic of Florida’s deeper  problem of keeping mentally ill inmates in jail, rather than  giving them treatment as they pay their debt to society. But if  past behavior is any indication, Florida’s not about to do what  makes the most sense.”

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