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UPDATE: Prisons chief asks FBI to investigate inmate beating

Friday, August 21st, 2009 by Dara Kam

homepage-mcneilFlorida Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigations to join state law enforcement officials investigating the weekend beating of an inmate by prison guards at Union Correction Institution in Raiford.

McNeil revealed little about the nature of the 47-year-old inmate’s injuries other than that they are “serious” but did not know if they were life-threatening. The unnamed inmate remains in the hospital, McNeil said.

Four guards took removed the inmate from his cell on Saturday after he threw feces at them, McNeil said. On Monday morning, another prison worker reported the injuries.

McNeil fired four nurses and placed seven correctional officers on paid leave. He said he asked the FBI to investigate because of possible civil rights violations.

The beatings are the latest in a string of attacks on inmates by prison guards at UCI and neighboring Florida State Prison in Starke.

But McNeil said he doubts there is a systemic problem in the prison system.

“There is never an excuse for this type of behavior. What you’re seeing is a manifestation of persons that don’t have that kind of self-control that they need to,” he said.

Four DOC nurses fired, seven guards suspended after two-day inmate beating

Friday, August 21st, 2009 by Dara Kam

State prison officials fired four nurses and put seven guards on leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a brutal attack over the weekend of a Union Correctional Institution inmate.

The nurses were fired for failing to report the beatings that took place over two days, which another employee reported. One of the nurses was a state corrections employee and three others were contract workers.

The 47-year old unidentified inmate “has multiple injuries and is being treated at an outside hospital,” a press release issued late last night by Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil said.

McNeil is holding a press conference at 11:15 to discuss the beatings.

“I intend to bring the full resources of this agency to bear on the individuals responsible for this violent assault, including prosecution, termination and decertification, so they can never work in a correctional environment again. There is no place in our profession for this depraved mindset,” McNeil said in the statement.

The weekend attack is the latest in a string of attacks by guards on inmates at the prison in Raiford or nearby Florida State Prison in Starke.

In June a DOC FSP guard was arrested after being captured on videotape beating an inmate during a power outage. Eleven other employees were involved in that attack.

Four UCI prison officers were fired after an April 9 beating of an inmate. That incident remains under investigation.

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