FL man tortured by privatized “service” – Update

Man Alleges Horrific Abuse On Private Prison Van | ThinkProgress

Darren Richardson of Florida says he was urinated on and denied food during a 10-day trip in a private prison transport company’s van, after he was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign …

… “Mr. Richardson’s legs were purple from the knee down and his feet were black when he arrived at the Pike County Correctional Facility,” the complaint reads. But the nurse who tended to his injuries at the prison allegedly told him they “had seen much worse come off that bus.”

via Man Alleges Horrific Abuse On Private Prison Van | ThinkProgress.


No offense, let alone rolling through a stop sign and an unpaid probation fee, should potentially cost you the use of your legs while in custody.

But others have fared worse on privatized prison transport vehicles. Burned alive. Raped. Robbed. Threatened with execution.

The cost savings of privatization are a big, fat lie. The cheapest way to provide a service to the public is for government entities to directly employ the fewest people possible, all with hands-on responsibilities.

It wouldn’t surprise me to to learn that the probation fines that Darren Richardson owed were the result of a yet another privatization scam.

If we don’t demand the end of privatized services, it’s almost guaranteed that each of us will know someone who’s been harmed or killed by a for-profit #RoughRide of one sort or another.

The third anniversary of mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey, pictured below, being scalded to death by guards at Dade Correctional Institution is June 23rd. If it weren’t for determined inmates, particularly Harold Hempstead, we wouldn’t know about the externally-temperature controlled, closet-sized shower being used to kill Mr. Rainey and torture others … the privatized health care provider said nothing.

Darren Rainey, the mentally ill inmate, who died in a scalding, hot shower years ago.

Update 3/23/17: Today, the Marshall Project published “Another Death on a For-Profit Extradition Vehicle: Federal officials promised last year to look into the mistreatment of detainees, but little has changed.” It tells of the in-custody, in-transit death of 29-year-old Kevin Eli, who was on being transported from Virginia to Florida to face charges for stealing a pearl necklace nine years earlier.

Eli died on the 7th, his family was notified on the 10th.

Please note Florida Congressman Ted Deutch’s comment within the Marshall Project’s article, “What’s so appalling is that there’s more care shown to furniture being delivered across state lines in this country than there is to humans.”

Eli’s death is of course relevant to Darren Richard’s harrowing privatized transport story, and it may well be relevant to Darren Rainey’s fatal shower death at Dade CI, where privatized healthcare didn’t save as many lives at it should. More will be known as soon as inmate/whistleblower Harold Hempstead – who fought for justice for Darren Rainey – is allowed to speak to his attorney and his family.

Harold was “Ghosted” from Florida to Tennessee on the 17th – St Patricks Day – and no one has heard from him since. That same day, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office issued a report stating that no charges would be filed against the officers who placed Darren Rainey in the shower on June 23, 2012. The state of Florida maintains, at every level, that the timing of Harold’s Ghosting and the timing of Darren Rainey’s official betrayal are a coincidence.

Harold’s sister posted this to Facebook minutes ago:

My brother Harold Hempstead remains missing we were told by T.D.O.C to follow some simple rules to turn on our phones for their inmates to call and we were told my brother would call last night.We complied and my brother did not call last night or today.Please pray my brother is ok and if you feel it in your heart please email [Florida Department of Corrections Secretary] Julie Jones and ask her to ask Tennessee to allow my brother to call his family her email address isjones.julie@mail.dc.state.fl.us


About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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13 Responses to FL man tortured by privatized “service” – Update

  1. Darren says:

    I am that man Darren. People die in these vans everyday. Thank you for bringing this to light. This was a timed systematic pattern of abuse.Trust me it is common practice. I did have shotgun put to my head…robbery..beatings..sexual threats. The big sign of mercy came when I was offered a Gatorade bottle to use as a restroom when I could no longer walk to use a restroom..and no there was never anytime to sleep..never stopped the vans for rest they drive 24/7 we only stopped long enough to change vans in Kentucky.

    • Thanks for being so cooperative in providing i.d. via email, Darren. I very much appreciate you taking the time to comment and provide more information on the long “rough ride” that you endured. I’m grateful for you standing up for yourself and others, especially those whose voices have been unnaturally silenced. I’m sorry for what you endured in custody … here’s hoping that soon there will be no privatized involvement in our corrections system, and that common decency will become the rule rather than the exception among corrections workers.

      • Darren says:

        Yes Susan there were many people in that van who could never speak. I made a promise that I would not see all I have and do nothing. I may have been the easiest target but I can have biggest voice. When our vehicle was questioned about the abuse we suffered all the inmates told the transportation officer’s to talk to me. That I didn’t belong there and would be believed..that is why I answered the questions.I have never been pulled over in 52 yrs .Aside from this tragic event I have never even spoke to a cop. I was unaware I had a five year old bench warrent. Pulled out of my Mercedes at midnight on the side of the road..not to return home for 40 days. All said and done I paid $250 bucks. Could it really be worth the punishment? I am a good man..widowed dad of three with a fantastic grandson. I live for my children that simple. Not a career criminal.. Not a dirtbag and not the trash people disregard in these transport vehicles. To be honest when you see the abuse it doesn’t matter why a person is in there. It is just a human being suffering..horrific. I thought I was a strong person and could survive this..however to my surprise I am so damaged life is near unbearable.

      • Darren says:

        By the way that is not my picture

  2. Thanks for providing additional information, Darren. I’m sorry that you are still suffering so much. Chances are that you have PTSD, which will go into remission when the positives in your life once again outweigh the negatives … I say that from personal experience.

    The picture is of Darren Rainey. If your life had ended during the “rough ride,” it’s likely that others on the ride would have spoken up – even though you think they couldn’t – just as a number of inmates spoke up about Mr. Rainey being murdered by guards, and took it to the the media when they couldn’t get authorities to act.

    The labels “trash,” “dirt bag” and others that John Walsh substituted for “suspect” and “person of interest” with his America’s Most Wanted television show never became acceptable to me, even for the convicted. Very few inmates are beyond redemption, but deprivation and humiliation won’t ever be part of the process … for too many, it’s all they’ve ever known. Most people are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses, and a great number of them are mentally ill and belong in treatment facilities, not behind bars (like Darren Rainey). Many who are incarcerated are innocent, which is primarily what this blog is about … advocacy for individuals that I know, not think, were framed.

    I can try to arrange for you to talk with someone in the mainstream media, if you’d like. Speaking up in a public forum may well get you past the worst of being traumatized, and may help to end “rough rides” everywhere. Again, thanks for the additional information, Darren; best wishes to you and your family.

    • Darren says:

      My sympathy to the Rainy family. You are correct I do have PTSD. I have been to a forensic psychiatrist for a forensic evaluation in an attempt to get past this. I have been diagnosed and now see two doctors weekly and take four medications.
      I still don’t function as a ” normal” person as I am sure you do as well. These are the first prescription medication I have taken in 50 years. What I have seen and what I have learned needs to come out. It is shocking that a company with so many wrongful deaths still operates and that a state would still hire them. Their horrific reputation is there to see for over 10 years. With that said yes would like to speak to the main stream a promise I will keep. Together we can make change. Shortly after my incident( after the agents apologized and told me to rest assured that what happened to me would never happen to another person ) a 54 year old woman died in their van. I cant let this continue. I will also email you keep eye out for it. God bless you!

      • I’m sorry that you indeed have PTSD and that it’s so severe, Darren. Mine isn’t in remission but isn’t as severe; it likely won’t go into remission until I get myself and others out from police, prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in Brevard County that the FDLE, FBI, Department of Justice and Senate Intelligence Oversight have been overlooking for decades, likely because of FBI and Senate Intelligence Oversight participation in the corruption.

        Many states continue to contract with privatized service providers with a history of causing illness, injury and death, i.e.; Michigan entered into a contract for prison food with Aramark, and seemed surprised – despite the company’s horrific record – by maggoty meals. Florida entered into a new contract with Aramark after it failed to meet the terms of its prior contract, including delivering too few meals to feed all the inmates. What seems to be happening is that these service providers “buy” legislators and governors, who lie to the public and say that savings are being realized, when basic math indicates that you can’t save money by involving anyone with no hands-on responsibilities in the delivery of a public service – particularly demanding investors and overpaid corporate officers and boards.

        I received and responded to your email regarding mainstream media attention. Please let me know if things don’t work out.

        In hopes of garnering more attention, I mentioned this blog post in another post today – https://wobblywarrior.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/an-opportunity-to-object-to-nickelrides-cowboyrides-roughrides/ – and taking action on that post may help your head a bit, even if all you can manage do is send a link to the post to Baltimore PD, as I will do shortly.

        Thank you for your sympathy for Darren Rainey’s family. Again, a bit of activism may make you feel better, and help his brother get justice – https://www.change.org/p/attorney-general-eric-holder-investigate-the-2012-death-of-mr-darren-rainey-a-mentally-ill-florida-prisoner-who-died-after-prison-guards-locked-him-into-a-180-degree-shower?recruiter=137976&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive – as it typically takes between .25M and .5M petition signatures to make the federal government get busy.

        If you’re thinking of creating a petition, please consider using MoveOn.org, as theirs are the easiest to participate in and share on social media.

        Here’s hoping your life and all others whose lives were upended by brutality and corruption are soon set right. Stay strong.

  3. Pingback: An opportunity to object to #NickelRides, #CowboyRides, #RoughRides | Wobbly Warrior's Blog

  4. helpmybrotherharoldhempstead says:

    Reblogged this on Helpmybrotherharoldhempstead's Blog and commented:

    • Sorry that I missed your comment until now – sometimes I don’t receive notifications, and I just stumble upon comments days or weeks later.

      I agree that arrests and successful prosecutions will help put an end to abusing and killing inmates, and hope to see the Department of Justice get very serious, very soon.

  5. Pingback: @FLGovScott, @FL_Corrections: Bring #Ghosted whistleblower/inmate Harold Hempstead back to Florida | Wobbly Warrior's Blog

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