I have read the news about the 2012 scalding death of Darren Rainey, a South Florida inmate. As the wife of a state legislator and a person who has spent countless hours volunteering with inmates in the prisons, I share the distress over the allegations surrounding this horrific tragedy. I feel compelled to tell the rest of the story.
There is another face to corrections that is never presented to the public. Of the 22,398 employees in the Department of Corrections, the vast majority are honorable, caring men and women. I’ve listened to many inmates tell me about officers who are firm, but fair and who treat them like they really care about them.
In the midst of this horrendous news, could we also express appreciation and respect for these unsung public servants, the correctional officers who lay their lives on the line daily for long hours and minimal pay while putting their whole hearts into a job, sincerely longing and working to send inmates back out of prison as productive citizens?
Katherine Van Zant,