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Prison Deaths May Go to FDLE

The Florida Department of Corrections has agreed to turn over the investigation of  unattended deaths and serious injuries in the state’s prisons to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Miami Herald reports.

Currently, FDLE must be contacted in prison cases involving homicides or suspicious deaths.  However, it can defer to local authorities.  The proposal, to which FDLE must agree, would make it the primary investigative agency in state prison facilities.

This proposal, as well as other changes, follow the publication of the Herald’s earlier stories dealing with the unexplained death two years ago of mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey.

Rainey, 50, died after being subjected to nearly two hours of scalding water in a locked shower stall at Dade Correctional Institution as punishment for defecating in his cell, according to witnesses.  Rainey’s relatives were not informed that his death was out of the ordinary, and the autopsy report has never been released.

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.