Warden memo details prison problems, upgrades

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MIAMI (AP) -- New Dade Correctional Institution warden Les Odom has announced a variety of upgrades to overhaul the state prison and correct lapses in proper management.

The Miami Herald reported some of the improvements have already begun and others have been scheduled. Those include replacing the air conditioning in the area housing mentally ill inmates. Also, training staff how to better keep track of the number of prisoners. Odom sent a memo to Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews detailing an existing problem conducting accurate counts and documenting incident reports when problems arise.

Audits found a "lack of oversight and a culture of inattentiveness," according to Odom.

Odom replaced former warden Jerry Cummings after a criminal investigation was held after mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey died after being placed in a locked, closet-like, steaming hot shower for more than two hours in 2012. The Miami Herald reported that inmates said Rainey, 50, was placed in the shower after he defecated in his cell and refused to clean it up. Corrections officers used the shower to punish inmates.

No one has been criminally charged in Rainey's death.

Other upgrades include replacing all security equipment and fixing broken sinks, toilets, showers and lights. The ventilation system is also scheduled to be repaired. The prison has also hired a new food services director, according to the memo.

Odom also suggests the lack of documentation could mean some mandatory training did not take place and that critical incidents may have gone unreported. He also requests additional audits to be conducted by an external agency.

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