Darren Rainey

Florida Department of Corrections

The family of a mentally ill Florida inmate who died after being left for nearly two hours in a hot shower has settled a civil rights lawsuit against the state's Department of Corrections and others for $4.5 million.

Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County said that they found no evidence of a crime in the death of a prison inmate who was left for two hours in a hot shower.

Tami Jo Urban/Wikimedia Commons


Miami activists have been calling for the state attorney to bring charges against two prison guards accused of torturing and killing Darren Rainey four years ago.

Florida Department of Corrections

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the death in a scalding shower of a Florida prisoner and may conduct a broader civil rights probe into allegations of abuse of mentally ill inmates.

Existence of the criminal investigation into the 2012 death of Darren Rainey, 50, was confirmed in a recent Justice Department letter to the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which last year requested the probe.

A mental health advocacy group filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging the Florida Department of Corrections and its contractors ignored the widespread torture and abuse of mentally ill inmates for years at a Miami prison.

Meanwhile, as the Miami Herald reports, the department has unveiled a new inmate mortality database amid the furor over inmate deaths. 

It took five letters, including one from a law firm, for Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown to gain an interview with an inmate who has crucial inside information on the death of a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institution two years ago.

Convicted killer Mark Joiner, now at a state prison in Lake City, told Brown that DCI guards routinely tortured and even killed inmates, then bragged about it. They also bragged that nothing would happen to them, he said.

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.

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.