It wasn’t me. Harold Hempstead wrote and published Department of Corruption … Darren Rainey: The UntoldStory. From behind prison bars, Harold recounted not only his witnessing of Darren Rainey’s scalding death at Dade Correctional Institution, but the systemic torture and abuse of inmates at many facilities within the Florida Department of Corrections.
I’m mentioned in the book a few times, and not unkindly. But after I finished reading, somehow Harold’s honoring part of my advocacy gave me a continuous-loop daymare of the end of the above scene from The Jerk … after Steve Martin/Navin Johnson enthusiastically says, “I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now!” Like Harold, I’ve been sticking my neck out for most of the century trying to make our justice system work. But unlike Harold, no one has by back: no sister, no non-profits, no members of the media, no government employees. I’m a sitting duck.
Harold’s book is a difficult read … those in the media and government who start to stumble over the Q and A format or the religiosity might want to read the book’s final I-dare-you page to reboot their interest should it wane. Those who have family behind bars may find value by way of inadvertent advice for addressing the abuse and neglect their loved ones may be enduring in the FDC.
Harold’s book is available from LuLu at this link. While others read it, I’ll be thinking about how to get the nearly 18-year-old target off my back that Brevard County placed there just in case there’s some validity to feeling of foreboding I’m experiencing.
Somewhere inside me is the below Bantam-weight CEO that wasn’t afraid of going toe-to-toe with Big Three and other corporate executives. Back then, I manufactured my own I-dare-you’s. Maybe there’s enough of who I used to be to write my own book, or finish the one I started two laptops ago: Broadsiding Brevard: A Wobbly Warrior Retreats, Regroups and Returns Fire to Sink a Ship of Fools.
The writers’ group I was in liked what I’d managed to put on paper. They laughed when they should and gasped when they should – they “got” it … despite it being only a war of words, there is a body count.