A lawsuit filed by four prison investigators claims Florida's prison system is badly mismanaged and the results have been deadly.
The four filed a federal whistle-blower complaint on Monday alleging that state prisoners were beaten and tortured, that guards smuggled in drugs and other contraband in exchange for money and sexual favors, and that guards used gang enforcers to control the prison population. They claim those actions were either tacitly approved or covered up.
One of the most grisly examples of abuse mentioned in the suit, which was filed last week, is the death of 27-year-old inmate Randall Jordan-Aparo in September, 2010.
According to former inspector Aubrey] Land, Jordan-Aparo, serving an 18-month term for credit card fraud and drug charges, was placed in solitary confinement and gassed multiple times by guards after he had begged to be taken to the hospital for a worsening medical condition. Land, who said he stumbled on the death of Jordan-Aparo while investigating other “garden-variety” corruption and abuses at Franklin, said the prison’s medical staff, corrections officers and supervisors later conspired to fabricate reports and lie to law enforcement about the events leading to the inmate’s death.
Another case mentioned in the suit is that of 50-year-old mentally ill inmate, Darren Rainey.
In May, 2014, the suit says, Rainey was put inside a scalding hot shower at Dade Correctional as punishment for defecating on the floor of his cell.
The suit claims Rainey begged for the 160-degree water to be turned off, but, prison staff responded by mockingly asking “Is the shower hot enough?’’
Think Progress notes that there are currently 10 Florida inmate deaths under investigation.
"We have zero tolerance for unethical behavior, and take any allegations of abuse seriously,”Florida Gov. Rick Scott's chief inspector general Melinda Miguel said. “An investigation into these allegations is currently active, and upon the conclusion of the investigation information will be made publicly available.”
Previously, The Huffington Post has documented unchecked and rampant abuse in the state's juvenile prisons, which are often run by for-profit companies who are given multi-million dollar contracts.