Union Correctional staffers investigated for excessive force

Published: Monday, October 8, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 8, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.

Ten staff members at the Union Correctional Institution, including an assistant warden, have been placed on paid administrative leave after a series of incidents involving excessive or improper force toward inmates, according to a report.

The investigation was spawned by a series of “forced incidents” at the Raiford facility, as well as the death of an inmate in September, said Ann Howard of the Florida Department of Corrections.

Five employees were put on leave on Friday: Assistant Warden Nan Jeffcoat, Lt. Joseph Allen, Sgt. Darryl Phillips, Officer Kenneth Warren and Officer David Brooks.

On Monday, the agency announced that five other corrections officers have been placed on leave: Jermaine Corley, Clinton Hodges, Derrick Searcy, Joshua Bostic and Robert Hill.

The staffers remain on leave pending the results of the investigation, which is being led by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with the DOC.

The DOC on Monday identified the dead inmate as Frank Smith, a 44-year-old man who had served most of a 16-year sentence for carjacking and assault convictions in Miami-Dade County.

The other inmates involved include Rudolph Rowe, Leslie Smith, Christopher Arnold, Ronnie Daniels and Willie Knight.

A press release from the DOC explained that staff members have been placed on leave to “ensure the integrity of the investigations.”

“We take this mission very seriously and we will not tolerate any actions by any members of this agency contrary to that mission,” Deputy Secretary Mike Crews said in the release.

Secretary Ken Tucker placed new administrative personnel at the facility last week, including Warden Diane Andrews, a 30-year employee of DOC who began her career at the Union institution.

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