When people are incarcerated, they are at the mercy of those who are charged with their care. In the case of inmates who are mentally ill, careful care must be taken to ensure that these inmates aren’t harmed. Care must also be taken to ensure they don’t hurt themselves. An inmate death in Florida highlights the special care that these inmates require to prevent the unthinkable from occurring.
The case involves a mentally ill inmate who was incarcerated at South Florida’s Dade correctional Institution. The 50-year-old allegedly defecated on his cell’s floor. He was instructed to clean it up but refused to do so. As punishment for failing to clean up the feces, the man was allegedly locked in the showers for an hour.
The man’s fellow inmates said they heard the man screaming, but they said nobody heeded those desperate cries. They say the man said, “I can’t take it no more. I’m sorry! I won’t do it again!”
When deputies got the man from the shower, his skin was burned. He was burned so badly that the skin on his body sloughed off. The man was dead when the deputies pulled him from the locked shower stall.
This mentally ill inmate died in a horrible, tragic way that was caused by deputies putting him in dangerous conditions. His family has to live the loss of their loved one, which is something that will likely cause a lifetime of pain. They might also have to deal with the financial impact of his death, such as his final expenses. They might be able to receive compensation for his death, which could help them to minimize the impact of the monetary demands caused by his death.
Source: TakePart, “After Inmate Scalding Death, New Questions Raised About Incarcerating the Mentally Ill” Matthew Fleischer, May. 27, 2014