Four Florida Department of Corrections investigators have accused the state of running a prison system rife with corruption, brutality and officially sanctioned gang violence, and of retaliating against them when they tried to expose what was going on, reports the Miami Herald. The four filed a federal whistle-blower complaint yesterday alleging that 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. The Herald has reported on claims of abusive treatment by corrections officers, as related by inmates, nurses and a psychotherapist, primarily at Dade Correctional Institution, where an inmate was herded into a scorching hot shower and left until he collapsed and died.
Now claims of abuse are coming from state corrections investigators, the persons charged with rooting out such abuses. “We have zero tolerance for unethical behavior, and take any allegations of abuse seriously,” said Melinda Miguel, Gov. Rick Scott's chief inspector general. “An investigation into these allegations is currently active, and upon the conclusion of the investigation information will be made publicly available.” In the complaint, veteran investigator Aubrey Land described the death of inmate, Randall Jordan-Aparo, 27 who was found lifeless, with a Bible next to his head and his body coated with yellow chemical gas at Franklin Correctional Institution in 2010.