Florida Prisons

Timeline: A year of turmoil in Florida prisons

Amid turmoil, Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews retired Nov. 24.
Amid turmoil, Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews retired Nov. 24. Miami Herald file

May 17

The Miami Herald unearths the June 2012 death of Darren Rainey, who collapsed in a scalding shower, where he was locked up after defecating in his cell. His pleas for mercy were ignored by guards, who allegedly mocked him. Subsequent complaints about the incident by others were also ignored.

May 21

Damion Foster dies in a clash with with guards in the mental health unit at Charlotte Correctional Institution. A month earlier, Matthew Walker died in a similar incident in the same prison.

June 14

The prison system reopens its investigation into the death of Rainey

July 10

As prison boss Michael Crews visits Dade Correctional to announce the suspension of its warden, a Dade inmate dies under disturbing circumstances.

July 17

Crews dismisses Dade Warden Jerry Cummings.

July 29

Lavar Valentin, a Dade inmate who had pleaded to be transferred because he feared he'd be killed by his cellmate, is found strangled, allegedly by the cellmate.

Aug. 19

Crews announces system-wide reforms designed to improve handling of inmates with mental illnesses.

Aug. 30

Herald report details the death of Randall Jordan-Aparo, who was repeatedly gassed at Franklin Correctional Institution. The death, now under investigation, was initially termed “natural.”

Sept. 9

Disability Rights Florida sues, saying inmates with mental illness have been tortured and abused for years at Dade Correctional.

Sept. 11

Five Florida prison sergeants and a captain are arrested, charged with gassing, beating and kicking a handcuffed and shackled inmate, then lying about it.

Sept. 18

Thirty-two guards are fired, including one who is the subject of a pending expose in the Herald.

Oct. 1

Latandra Ellington, an inmate at Lowell Correctional, turns up dead days after writing her family saying a sergeant had threatened to kill her.

Oct. 16

With use of force by Florida guards rising dramatically, Crews orders an audit of all use-of-force reports.

Nov. 13

A think-tank of prominent academics and others calls for an overhaul of the prison system to stem widespread abuse and corruption.

Nov. 24

Crews retires as secretary of the Department of Corrections.