Florida Prisons Fire Guards: Sunshine State Hit By Prison Scandal

September 22, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Florida Prisons Fire Guards

Florida officials fire 32 prison guards who abused inmates in four different prisons. The month-long investigation by the Florida Department of Corrections Secretary, Michael Crews, has also lead to the arrest of 5 prison guards who brutally attacked prisoners and covered the deaths of numerous inmates. The Teamsters Union, which represents the guards said the firings were unjustified and further explained that the workers were following protocols.

Officials in Florida are cleaning up the prison system, which has lead them to fire 32 prison guards. Several guards were arrested in the process.

About one month ago, the Department of Corrections Secretary, Mike Crews opened an investigation in Florida’s prison system after reports surfaced that officials had lied about the deaths of at least two inmates. The investigation confirmed the reports of widespread brutality in Floridian prisons, according to Examiner.

Among those fired were 5 guards and a captain who were accused of attacking a prisoner named Jeremiah Tatum, 31, on Aug 5 at the Northwest Florida Reception Center.

Sgts. William Finch, James Perkins, Robert Miller, Christopher Christmas and Dalton Riley who gassed Tatum with chemical agents and stomped on him while he was on the ground in handcuffs were charged with felony battery on an inmate.

Capt. James Kirkland, who ordered the illegal gassing and beating and made his sergeants lie about it, has been charged with official misconduct.

Five prison guards from the Lancaster Correctional Institution were also arrested for battery on an inmate. Officers Earl Short, Stephen Nygard and Julious Riley, and Sgts. Robert La Puma and Brittain Williams were accused of punching prisoners in the face, head and torso because they did not walk fast enough. The guards were also accused of fabricating and planting evidence in prisoner’s cells in order to have a reason to beat and punish them.

Eighteen guards from the Charlotte Correctional Institution accused of beating inmate Matthew Walker who died on April 11, were fired.

Officials in Florida were forced to investigate their own, after local media started reporting on the cover-up in the death of Darren Rainey. In June of 2012, Rainey, a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institution, died after guards allegedly forced him to shower under burning hot water for two hours because he refused to clean up his own feces.

Mike Crews has decided to investigate 85 unresolved prison deaths. The Teamsters Union is blasting the Florida officials who decided to fire the prison guards, saying that they were simply following orders.

The union claimed that if the State of Florida really want to clean up, they need to start from the top.


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Comments (1)

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  1. Elizabeth Castro says:

    It never ceases to amaze me.How is it that the State of Florida can continue to inaccarate so many minorities, not provide treatment, counseling, health care, job training or re-entry skills and cry about the criminals.Yet, if you evaluate the employees of the FDOC you find the corrections officer that didn’t make the grade to be a real law enforcement officers. These folks are not trained, abuse the inmates, deny food ,medical assistance, divert their mail, have inappropriate relationships(sex),smuggal drugs and tobacco in,steal ,lie and cover up their own misdeeds- to only be “reassigned to other duties”. Inspectors show up -ANNOUNCED for inspections. WHY AREN’T THESE FOLKS THAT ARE ABUSING THEIR AUTHORITY and KILLING INMATES BEING PROSECUTED AND THEN THROWN IN THE MIX WITH THOSE THEY ABUSED. There needs to be an aggressive federal investigation before more people suffer unnecessarily.

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