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Fla. Inmate Scalded to Death-No Criminal Charges for Prison Guards



Darren Rainey

Florida prosecutors have announced no criminal charges for the death of Darren Rainey, who was scalded to death in a prison shower.

On June 23, 2012, inmate Darren Rainey, was locked in a locked closet-sized shower by prison guards after defecating in his cell and refusing to clean the mess. Rainey, because of his history of mental health issues, was incarcerated in the mental health unit at the Dade Correctional Unit in Miami, Florida. According to an inmate who worked at the unit as an orderly, the tiny shower was filled with steam and scalding water.

After one hour, the guards checked on Mr. Rainey. One medical document regarding his death noted that his skin was extremely burned and had shriveled from his body. The inmate, Mr. Hempstead, who allegedly witnessed the end of inmate Rainey, filed a grievance complaint,, stating that Mr. Rainey kept screaming, “I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” According to court records, the water temperature in the shower was approximately 180 degrees.

The prosecutors found the inmate’s statements about Rainey’s death were not reliable.The medical examiner, Emma Lew, concluded in a controversial report that Rainey’s death was a combination of his schizophrenia, heart disease and confinement in the small shower space.

Miami Herald investigative reporter Julie K. Brown contacted multiple witnesses, inmates and staff members, who revealed that showers were used to scald inmates, who upset the correctional officers. Nurses stated there were burns on 90 percent of Rainey’s body. Prison video shows that Rainey was kept in the shower for 2 hours.

In 2015, Florida Department of Corrections fired 32 correctional officers because of inmates deaths due to criminal misconduct. The deaths occurred at four prisons in Florida. The mass firing included the 4 officers involved in the tragic death of Darren Rainey.

Darren Rainey was serving a two-year sentence on a cocaine charge. Darren Rainey died one month before the completion of his sentence.

The justice system is broken.

By: Bradley Schwartz
Prison Consultant
Founder of

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