A mentally ill inmate in Florida died after he was allegedly locked in an excruciatingly hot shower as a punishment.
When Darren Rainey, 50, died at Dade Correctional Institution in Homestead on June 23, 2012, his skin was so badly burned it had shriveled from his body, a condition known as slippage, the Miami-Herald reported. He had been left in the scalding shower for longer than an hour.
“I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again,’’ Rainey repeatedly screamed, according to a grievance complaint from a fellow inmate.
Almost two years later, no one has been charged in Rainey’s death and the Miami-Dade medical examiner has yet to complete an autopsy. The Florida Department of Corrections says it would restart its probe into Rainey’s death if the autopsy or Miami-Dade police unearthed any new information.
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“Two years is a very long time to wait to find out why your brother was found dead in a shower,’’ said Rainey’s brother, Andre Chapman.
Rainey was serving a two-year sentence for cocaine possession and was scheduled to be released in July 2012.
“They told people that he had a heart attack,” a prison system source close told the Herald.
A corrections officer, who currently works at the prison and spoke to the paper under the condition of anonymity, says every inmate in the mental health unit is threatened with the “shower treatment” if they cause trouble.
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Three former workers at the prison claim that staff made sport of tormenting Rainey and other mentally ill inmates.
One of those former employees, psychotherapist George Mallinckrodt, filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department last month. Mallinckrodt worked on the unit from 2008 to 2011.
He says guards “taunted, tormented, abused, beat, and tortured chronically mentally ill inmates on a regular basis.”
In September an inmate, Richard Mair, 40, hung himself in his cell. His suicide note alleged he and other prisoners are systematically sexually and physically abused by guards.
After weeks of requests from the Herald for documents relating to the incidents, Warden Jerry Cumming was suspended last week.
The prison, however, has not issued a statement on the allegations of abuse.