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Getting Away With Murder: A True Story Paperback – August 2, 2014
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About the Author
THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS HAS BANNED MY BOOK! The FDC doesn't want the truth to come out: It is the most corrupt, brutal agency in all of Florida. For nearly three years, I worked as a psychotherapist in a Florida state prison psychiatric ward where severely mentally ill patients on my caseload were abused, starved, taunted, tormented, and beaten by correctional officers. After a patient on my caseload was beaten by guards, my attempts to raise the issue of patient abuse were met with silence. My vociferous advocacy for the humane treatment of our patients ended in my dismissal. Ten months after my departure, guards put a man named Darren Rainey in a boiling hot shower and scalded him to death. Deeply impacted by Rainey's horrific death, I became an advocate for his justice on a local level. Early efforts included a meeting with FBI agents and filing a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Special Litigation Section. The complaint provided secondhand details of Darren Rainey's murder and a host of other abuses I witnessed in my former unit. Two and a half years after I spoke with FBI agents, the Miami Herald reported that the DOJ had initiated a criminal investigation into Rainey's death. Frustrated by futile attempts to interest authorities in Rainey's murder, I started writing a whistleblower account about my experiences. Two years later, I published GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER, a book that provides readers with an unprecedented perspective into the treatment of the mentally ill. My objective in writing a book detailing the horrific conditions mentally ill patients face was to generate outrage among the public. In May of 2014, the Miami Herald published the first of over 100 articles about the brutality and cover-up scandal that has rocked the Florida Department of Corrections. My former unit was featured in the first article. I immediately contacted Herald reporter Julie Brown and described a unit plagued by patient abuse that included beatings. Subsequently, I have been quoted in more than a dozen Miami Herald stories. Recently, a journalist from the New Yorker Magazine interviewed me for a story slated to appear March or April 2016. I plan to capitalize on this opportunity by taking the Florida prison brutality story to the national level as a means to advocate for prison reform, the humane treatment of the mentally ill, and ending mass incarceration for those suffering from severe mental illness.
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Over the past thirty years, mental illness has become another major contributing factor to the prison population, largely because of society's ineptness and resistance to treating it. Instead of treating mental illness in a civilized manner, we lock the mentally ill up in environments that are not far removed from the hot bath treatment of the Marquis de Sade. At least he didn't kill his victims! This book is very timely written and will hopefully open the eyes of any remaining skeptics who think that the justice system coddles prisoners. Torture and murder as described in this book are never acceptable ways of treating people with problems and should not be tolerated in a civilized society.
It’s hard to put this book down. Although the subject is depressing, he weaves ribald prison humor and lively dialogue into his story. Mallinckrodt tells of his struggle with “being in prison” at a difficult and frustrating job. It is also a story about the inhumane and dangerous conditions for inmates in a run-down, poorly managed prison. Retribution keeps the inmates and the staff from reporting abuse. His journey from stressed out employee to prison rights advocate takes on greater urgency when a mentally ill inmate is brutally tortured and murdered by corrections officers in the prison and incident is completely covered up by authorities. (The investigation of the murder of the mentally ill inmate has still not been completed two years later.)
This book leaves you with the uncomfortable knowledge that terrible abuse is probably happening to inmates on a daily basis in badly managed prisons throughout the U.S., especially to inmates suffering from mental illness. If it were not for a few brave souls who are willing to report it, like Mallinckrodt and the inmates themselves, no one would ever know.
Thanks George for this great book. Debby Sapp