No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Department of Corrections Fires 32 More, Including 3 Guards Involved In Gassing Death of Inmate

| September 20, 2014

Changing lives, definitely, and ending them, too. The rest is a bit tenuous.

Changing lives, definitely, and ending them, too. The rest is a bit tenuous.

In what has become a frequent exercise, Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews on Friday fired 32 workers accused of breaking the law, including three prison guards involved in the gassing death of an inmate at a Panhandle prison four years ago.

All of the workers fired were on administrative leave pending a review launched earlier this summer. The housecleaning is part of the secretary’s attempt to salvage the reputation of the beleaguered agency in the wake of reports of widespread abuse and corruption, whistleblower complaints and federal investigations surrounding prisoner deaths.

Among the axed workers are Rollin Austin, Randall Johnson and Kevin Hampton, three former prison guards at Franklin Correctional Institution where inmate Randall Jordan-Aparo died after allegedly being repeatedly gassed by guards and then left to die.

Dismissal letters from Crews to the workers say they are being let go because they “participated in a force incident that resulted in the death of an inmate.” None of the fired workers has been arrested or charged with any crimes.

Four Department of Corrections investigators say they’ve been retaliated against for exposing a cover-up about Jordan-Aparo’s September 2010 death. The investigators claim that Gov. Rick Scott’s chief inspector general Melinda Miguel — who refused to grant them whistleblower protection — was aware of the cover-up for at least three years. The DOC investigators, who found that Jordan-Aparo was too ill to warrant being treated as a threat, are themselves now the subjects of internal reviews.

According to a whistleblower lawsuit, Austin gave the order to gas Jordan-Aparo, who died five hours later after being gassed twice more and being left to die. The 27-year-old, coated in yellow residue from the noxious chemicals, was found dead in solitary confinement with a Bible beside his head. Jordan-Aparo was serving an 18-month sentence for fraud and drug charges.

Also fired Friday were nine Charlotte Correctional Institution guards involved in the April 11 death of inmate Matthew Walker, who was allegedly beaten to death while handcuffed. Walker’s death — and that of another inmate who died at the Punta Gorda facility a month later — are among more than 80 inmate deaths now being probed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Fifteen prison guards at Union Correctional Institution, all under investigation for use-of-force incidents against prisoners over the past two years, were also pink-slipped Friday. Another guard at the Raiford prison was also fired for unspecified reasons.

Crews’ review also resulted in three employees being sent back to work, including the assistant warden at the Raiford prison, Nan Jeffcoat, who has been on leave with pay since the death of an inmate two years ago.

Crews has been on a housecleaning mission in the wake of Miami Herald reports earlier this year about Darren Rainey, a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institution who died after guards allegedly forced him to shower in scalding hot water as punishment two years ago..

“I have made it clear that there is zero tolerance for corruption or abuse at the Department of Corrections, and we continue to root out any-and-all bad actors who do not live up to our expectations. Our standards are high and we will accept nothing less to ensure the safety of our staff and those in our custody, as well as Florida families,” Crews said.

–Dara Kam, News Service of Florida

Print Friendly

15 Responses for “Department of Corrections Fires 32 More, Including 3 Guards Involved In Gassing Death of Inmate”

  1. John Smallberries says:

    “Four Department of Corrections investigators say they’ve been retaliated against for exposing a cover-up about Jordan-Aparo’s September 2010 death. The investigators claim that Gov. Rick Scott’s chief inspector general Melinda Miguel — who refused to grant them whistleblower protection — was aware of the cover-up for at least three years. The DOC investigators, who found that Jordan-Aparo was too ill to warrant being treated as a threat, are themselves now the subjects of internal reviews.”

    Aaaand that right there says it all. Murder someone as a cop? Maybe get a paid vacation, or if someone exposes it you might get fired, but you’ll never ever go to jail for it. Expose fellow officers for murdering someone? Oh hell no, you crossed that thin blue line, expect retaliation against you and your family.

  2. Sgt Steele says:

    Soon there will be NO ONE to guard the criminals. What will the state do then, bring in the military to use as guards ? Perhaps some of the ones complaining about the guards would like to take their place ? I didn’t think so .

    • John Smallberries says:

      Abloo bloo bloo, someone please think of the poor correctional officers :(

    • Nancy N. says:

      So you think that just because it is a job that few people would want that it gives those who do it an unrestricted license to brutalize and kill those under their supervision at their slightest whim? That’s sick.

  3. Sherry Epley says:

    Humans’ INHUMANITY! And no one has been charged with a crime! Every person is someone’s child. How outrageous! How terribly sad!

    • Bep says:

      I was once a CO and found that the only difference in the COs and the inmates is the inmates were caught…. People seem to forget the inmates are people too, most often good people. I could never do this job and work with the animals that call themselves COs. Power hungry pigs!

  4. former leo says:

    Kooks to Crews… these people give those in law enforcement and corrections a bad name and these types of behaviors can not be allowed. Shame on those who turned a blind eye and allowed such behaviors to occur, as these people are a disgrace to the law enforcement community and do not represent the whole.

    • former leo says:

      Koodos to Crews… these people give those in law enforcement and corrections a bad name and these types of behaviors can not be allowed. Shame on those who turned a blind eye and allowed such behaviors to occur, as these people are a disgrace to the law enforcement community and do not represent the whole.

  5. Saddened Citizen says:

    Reading all these article’s in the news ,should concern all citizens of our grand country! We are seeing a growing number of police departments becoming militaristic, this should not be!! And now prison gaurds abusing inmates.. These individuals are not fit to wear a uniform!!! Just wondering when the gulags will be opening???

  6. Scratching my head says:

    Justice hasn’t been served until these individuals are all treated like criminals and given a taste of their own medicine. There is no excuse for their actions and behaviors….these are people, and when one can be punished for mistreating an animal and this goes with no consequences is confirmation that there is seriously something wrong with the system. How many more unreported cases are there that exist and have existed that go unaddressed? This is a big problem, bigger than we may realize. Those responsible for mistreating people deserve to be punished, not just fired!

  7. JoJo says:

    OPPOSITE BARBARIANS AT THE GATE.

  8. Citizens says:

    Problemo is, who is monitoring these f ing guards

  9. Not so Fair Trial says:

    Judge Sentenced for Selling Kids into For-Profit Prison

    A Pennsylvania judge has been convicted of selling children into prison for cash. The former
    judge, 61-year old Mark Ciavarella Jr, was sentenced to 30 years for taking money under the table from a developer and jailing thousands of adults and juveniles, some as young as ten. Ciavarella made more than a million dollars selling people into incarceration.
    Are you outraged? You should be. This occurred in 2011, and in many states we still have a corrupt prison system that is owned by private corporations that profit from filling their jail cells. States and private prisons have struck deals that guarantee high prison occupancy rates, or “lockup quotas,” and when those quotas aren’t met, taxpayers pay for those empty beds anyway. Some of these deals require a 90 to 100 percent prison occupancy. Arizona has three privately run prisons that have a 100 percent inmate occupancy requirement. If any of these beds goes unfilled the state has to cough up the money to the prison. Three for-profit prisons in Colorado have forced taxpayers to pay an additional $2 million because of the occupancy requirement deal, making the drop in crime irrelevant to the budget. You pay either way, might as well fill the beds, right?
    Practices like these incentivise putting people behind bars. Forget about justice, and fair representation; and when the state is compelled to keep prisons full to capacity, rehabilitation and community building are null and void. Harsher sentences are encouraged, promoting corporate profits instead of protecting the public.
    Ciavarella was ordered to pay nearly 1.2 million in restitution, a mere pittance compared to the worth of the lives he harmed and ruined. These are human lives we are dealing with, not some sort of commodity.
    According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, the United States has the largest population of prisoners per capita in the world. That’s a crime in itself. We can do better. Education and employment programs for at-risk youth would be a better alternative to locking them up, and it would cost less, as a teacher’s salary is approximately equivalent to the cost of incarcerating an inmate.
    Children and adults shouldn’t be being sold into incarceration, there shouldn’t be money to be made in locking people up. It should be a last resort, not a contracted goal.

  10. Mom of inmate at Lancaster says:

    There are still guards out there that do not believe that they will be caught, Crews is just scratching the surface of what is going on, he needs to be digging deeper into all DOC facilities, interview each inmate at all DOC facilities, my son was never interviewed.

  11. Aussie Sailor says:

    Goodday,

    There is an (now) ex-FLDOC guard who is a long term guest of HMQ in the Northern Territory for drug smuggling into Australia and GBH on a Commonwealth employee. This thug was very quickly put in a cage. Australia is peaceful society and we welcome people from every land to visit our island home. But we can very quickly deal with those who want to import drugs or assault out government employees.

    Fair winds

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive
Loading

ADVERTISEMENTS

suppert flaglerlive flagler live palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam florida
news service of florida

Subscribe to FlaglerLive

Get immediate notification of new stories.

Advertisement
Log in
| FlaglerLive, P.O. Box 354263, Palm Coast, FL 32135-4263 | 386/586-0257

FlaglerLive.com