Once again, the Florida Department of Corrections is in the news for being responsible for the cruel and unusual punishment (and torture) of the inmates entrusted to it. Indeed, in connection with the deaths of inmates in prisons across the state. The Florida Department of Corrections has finally actually fired guards. According to the story covered by the Miami Herald read and click the link below:
Rollin Suttle Austin was arrested for theft, convicted of drunk driving and accused of dozens of brutal, unprovoked beatings.
Victims have alleged that the beefy, bald, 43-year-old amused himself by slamming heads into concrete and grabbing people by their throats and often bragged about getting away with killing a man.
Austin has a mug shot on file, a criminal history with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and was in the Florida prison system for 23 years.
But Austin wasn’t behind bars and his prison uniform wasn’t inmate blue, it was brown. That’s because, until Friday, Austin was a state corrections officer who carried a badge and a gun.
The move, as well as other firings announced a week earlier, came as the department knew that the Miami Herald was about to publish a story about Austin’s long, unchecked history of abuse complaints, and how he and other corrections officers have been able for years to take part in allegedly unprovoked attacks and gassings of inmates.
The firings are part of a crackdown by Crews in the wake of a series of Herald stories about corruption in the Florida prison system.
The union representing the state’s corrections officers, however, says Crews’ firing of low-level staff is a diversion to turn attention away from the real culprits responsible for fostering the prison system’s culture of brutality: the department’s wardens, regional directors and top leadership.