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Guards Accused of Abusing Mentally Ill

A mentally ill inmate’s death nearly two years ago has raised serious questions in how mentally ill prisoners are treated in the Dade Correctional Institution.  Darren Rainey, 50, was allegedly locked in a shower with scalding water turned on for more than an hour, according to the Miami Herald.

Other inmates report hearing Rainey’s screams for about 30 minutes before hearing what sounded like Rainey falling to the shower floor.  When guards checked on Rainey, he was dead, his skin burned and shriveled from his body, according to a document involving Rainey’s death.  Rainey died July 23, 2012, but the Miami-Dade medical examiner has not completed an autopsy and no one has been charged in his death.  
An orderly and several other sources familiar with the state prison’s goings-on have reported that the shower treatment is one form of punishment inflicted on mentally ill prisoners by guards to keep them in line.  Guards allegedly subject inmates in the mental health unit to “extreme physical abuse.”  An inmate who committed suicide left a note claiming he and other prisoners were routinely physically and sexually abused by guards.

DOC officials declined to be interviewed for the Miami Herald article.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.