No Justice: No Charges Filed After Mentally Ill Inmate Scalded to Death in ‘Punishment Shower’
By Tamar Auber, May 23, 2014.
A Florida inmate was taken to the shower room as punishment for pooping in his cell and refusing to clean it up. Left under scalding hot water unattended for over an hour, he died a horrific death.
Darren Rainey had a history of mental illness and was serving a 2-year stint for possession of cocaine at the Dade Correctional Institution when the incident occurred.
At one point, according to a fellow inmate serving as an orderly on the wing, Rainey began yelling over and over again, “I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”
Yet despite his obvious distress, the guards did not answer his pleas, nor did they return to check in on him.
When they did come back over an hour later, they found the 50-year-old’s body lying on shower room floor – his skin so badly damaged by the water it shriveled away from his body, according to a post-mortem report.
“I then seen [sic] his burnt dead body naked body go about two feet from my cell door on a stretcher,’’ the orderly inmate, who previously witnessed Rainey being shoved into the scalding shower, later recalled in a letter to authorities calling for something to be done about the death.
Another inmate, Mark Joiner, told the inspector general that he was ordered to “clean up the crime scene’’ shortly after Rainey’s ill-fated shower and before an investigation could be launched implicating the guards.
Yet, despite the horrific nature of the mentally ill prisoner’s death and available witness testimony in the matter, nearly two years after Rainey was scalded during a punishment shower, serious questions remain unanswered in the case and no guards have been implicated in his death.
Instead, any investigation into the likely homicide has been halted until the medical examiner completes a full autopsy – still not complete two years later.
George Mallinckrodt, a psychotherapist at the Dade Correctional Institution said he is not surprised that there has been no justice for Rainey in a prison climate like Dade’s that allows mentally ill inmates to be tortured and abused by guards.
“You know these guys that are in prison — and definitely deserve to be there — they’re there to pay their debt to society, not to get tortured or beaten or murdered, so I’d like to see that resolved,” Mallinckrodt said, calling for reform before other inmates – like Rainey - die at the hands of abusive guards.
Photo Credit: Police File Photo