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UPDATE: Young inmate collapses after exercise, prison officials investigating

by Dara Kam | May 26th, 2010

UPDATE: Gov. Charlie Crist’s office asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the collapse of the inmate, identified as 20-year-old Samuel Dread.

An inmate is in critical condition after collapsing on Monday during exercises at Lancaster Correctional Institution near Gainesville, Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil told reporters at a hastily-scheduled press conference early this morning.

The unidentified inmate, a male between the ages of 18 and 24, collapsed on his first day at the youthful offender facility which uses a boot-camp style program in which inmates exercise outdoors from early in the morning until nightfall, DOC officials said.

McNeil said he asked the agency’s inspector general to investigate the incident and that the inmate is now in a private hospital in critical condition. He also said he is considering changing the department’s policy requiring strenuous exercise in extreme heat.

The department’s response to the incident is a departure from the 2006 death of Martin Lee Anderson, a 14-year-old who collapsed and died after being beaten by guards after collapsing during exercises on his first day at the now-defunct Bay County Boot Camp in the Panhandle.

A coroner initially said the boy, who was black, died from complications related to sickle-cell disease, sparking outrage in from the boy’s family and others who accused Panhandle officials of a cover-up.

McNeil took over as head of the Department of Juvenile Justice during the prolonged investigation into Anderson’s death.

The inmate complained that he could not continue the exercises about 2:30 p.m. when the temperature was 86 degrees, McNeil said. Three medical staff put the inmate on a stretcher, iced him down and he was later transported to a hospital, he said.

Anderson’s parents ultimately received a $5 million payment from the state for their son’s death.

McNeil said he contacted the Tallahassee leader of the NAACP early this morning in part due to “being hypersensitive to what’s taken place in our state” with Martin Lee Anderson.

The case “certainly played a role in my perception and my heightened sensitivity,” McNeil said.

Landry said NAACP leaders are pleased thus far with McNeil’s response to the inmate’s collapse.

“We are going to stand by and wait for the outcome of that investigation. We have a lot of belief in the secretary,” Landry said.

McNeil’s relationship with the NAACP dates back to his tenure as Tallahassee police chief prior to his appointment by Crist as head of DJJ.

“He has shown a commitment of zero tolerance of anybody doing any abuse, especially to children, under his care,” Landry said.

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13 Responses to “UPDATE: Young inmate collapses after exercise, prison officials investigating”

  1. Aguy Says:

    First on the 14 that died, tell me how a kid who at 14 needs to be sent to a bootcamp style jail, for being a crappy kid, is worth 5 million dollars. That kid would have cost the state about the same in incarceration fees during his life in and out of jail. Now, why is it that the NAACP needs to be contacted every time a criminal feels faint. I guess that is why our crime rate is out of control. remember, every life IS created equal but what a person does with that life makes them worth more or less.

  2. Marilyn Says:

    The guards and people in charge of prisons treat prisons worse than animals.

    This is unnecessary. They are doing their time for their wrong doing but do not deserve to be treated unhumnaly

  3. Yeah Says:

    I agree Marilyn, this is why prison is worse than it should be. The raping, beatings and killings are mostly because guards and people in charge F*** Up and just as bad as the bad guys.

  4. Obiwan's bastard son Says:

    How is it they can run full out for a quater of a mile when they’re “alluding” police but when asked to run three feet they’re in need of critical care? Maybe all of that ganster lifestyle is catching up….

  5. Obiwan's bastard son Says:

    @yeah: the violence and other reprehensible behavior is a direct reflection on the lifestyle these people live on the street. By their own hand they continue to perpetuate it.

  6. no justice jus us Says:

    obiwan, you are one sorry are dyin and that all you got to say is some stupid a$$ crap….get yo fat behind out there and run from sun up to sun down and see how well you fair.its easy for you to talk about what they did when you dont know…people go to jail every minute of the day but it dont mean they should be treated like animals…tutle egss are treated better you homo..

  7. just 1 thought Says:

    Let me start by saying if I was arrested and sent to boot camp today I would more than likely be passing out as well I am out of shape like 80% of americans. With that being said what the hell does this have to do with NAACP i’m assuming this recent case involves a black male as well. What the NAACP needs to address is the fact that 80% of all prisoners are black males not who is being mistreated in jail boot camp programs black or white. My real question is I am a white male if I had passed out would anyone care? would they still have called the NAACP? would this even make a local papaer like the Palm Beach Post?

    Answer: I DOUBT IT !!!

  8. Obiwan's bastard son Says:

    @ No justice: These “kids” you speak are only kids in the sense of their age. I know my words may sting you to the core but as it’s been said before the truth not only will set you free, it also hurts. Keep letting them off the hook. Don’t teach them being resposible for their actions or inactions. Keep enabling and YOU Mr.’Po,’Po Us will keep seeing the same thing over and over again. It time for the “community to step up to the plate. for one to rise to ones feet, one must first rise off of ones a$$.

  9. J.R. Says:

    Oh hell here comes Al Sharpton!

  10. cm Says:

    obiwan has nothing better to do with his life he’s on other sites reading and posting the same stupid remarks. i bet you the smallest inmate can kick his ass..

  11. Obiwan's bastard son Says:

    @cm: my apologies. I did not intend for my writing to offend you. Next time, for you, I’ll refrain from using big words such as “the” or “and”.

  12. JWP Says:

    Jail is not supposed to be like a stay at the Hilton. I agree, they can run like track stars trying to get away from their crimes, but a little exercise on an 86 degree day nearly kills them? Maybe we could bring back the chain gang and thin the herd a little.

  13. Luly Says:

    Yes, this not only incident that occured in that lancaster facility. My son(20) was detained few months ago. And he was physical attack with other inmate. I’m the mother never was inform he was injury, no administration officer informed me was that my son was attack he was hospital.

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