Wednesday, July 03, 2013

'Thank God we got penitentiaries...'

The Miami Herald's David Ovalle has a jaw-dropping piece on a major snafu that occurred last month at the Turner Guilford Knight jail out on 41st Street.
In a major breach, a control panel at Miami’s Turner Guilford Knight jail malfunctioned, causing the electronically controlled cell doors to slide open in a maximum-security wing.

During the ensuing chaos, four inmates rushed into the cell of Kenneth Williams, attacking him.

The inmate saved himself by leaping off the second-floor tier, crashing to the floor below and severely injuring his ankle and back.

Miami-Dade corrections officers pepper-sprayed the attackers and confiscated at least two homemade shanks. Williams, himself a reputed Liberty City gang member, was arrested for possession of a contraband blade.

The June 14 episode is another black eye for a Miami-Dade jail system long plagued by complaints of shoddy conditions and lax security. The episode, detailed in internal reports obtained by The Miami Herald, was the second time in recent weeks the newly installed security door system opened suddenly without warning.
In all, 48 cell doors opened for less than five minutes, said Marydell Guevara, assistant director of the Miami-Dade Corrections Department. The mishap is under investigation, she said

But the “group release” feature on the door system has been permanently disabled for the TGK maximum security wing known as K-81, where high-risk inmates are kept to protect themselves or others, she said.

As I got further into the story, I suddenly recalled a classic line from a back-in-the-day Richard Pryor performance. Listen for it at 1:02....

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