Florida Governor; Correctional Officers Suicides

Tallahassee—According to the Tampa Bay Times, a Land O’Lakes man filed a formal complaint with the FBI asking for an investigation into a series of claims made by Gerald Bailey, whom Scott Ousted as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“…a third party should investigate Bailey’s allegations, which included charges that Scott’s office or campaign pressured him to fudge details in a criminal investigation.


Although it was not until after Gerald Bailey was ousted from office as to when he began making his series of claims against Governor Scott, many correctional officers have long come forth about being pressured to cover up acts of abuse against inmates and inmates cause of death.

Most employees function on their jobs according to their superiors standards. If superiors function in a positive and professional manner, then their subordinates will strive to meet or exceed that same level of positivity and professionalism as to their superiors. But where there are no positive standards and no level of professionalism for employees to strive to be their best—then negativity takes over and there are no positive results worth keeping tally.

Governor Scott has failed Floridians. Governor Scott has plugged his ears and closed his eyes to correctional officers.

Captain James Kirkland, a white man, was one of six other white male correctional officers who were eventually charged in the vicious beating of a black inmate at the Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley located in North Florida. According to the Miami Herald, Captain James Kirkland was responsible for “orchestrating the incident and then allegedly pressuring the officers to sign fictitious reports.”  After Captain James Kirkland was arrested, he posted bond and ultimately committed suicide.


Captain James Kirkland and the other five correctional officers’ arrests were made under the direction of former Florida Department of Corrections Chief Mike Crews. The message that Mr. Crews was trying to send was, “…zero tolerance for criminal activity by our staff.” Since Mr. Crews’ resignation he said, “Governor Scott ignored crisis in corrections system.”


Apparently, Mr. Mike Crews could not operate Florida’s prisons ETHICALLY and MORALLY under Governor Scott. How are correctional officers supposed to operate ethically and morally under Governor Scott?

Clearly, Captain James Kirkland and the five other correctional officers that were charged with the vicious beating of a black inmate may have had mental problems that either started on the job or manifested on the job. Northwest Florida, a wide vast area that is saturated with Confederate Flags in front of homes and businesses, seemingly has not mentally moved into the 21st Century.

On February 12, 2016, the family of DeShon Thomas drove from their home in central Florida to Gulf Prison in Wewahitchka, Florida—located in Northwest Florida to visit with him on Saturday. The drive was nearly 350 miles.  Their visit would have been their first visit since they visited with DeShon at Century Prison located in Century, Florida (491 miles from their home). In comparison to the correctional officers at Century’s Prison, Gulf’s Prison Annex correctional officers failed several levels of administrative and security checks. The metal detectors may have not been working. There were no handheld scanners used. A correctional officer gave DeShon’s mother a Florida State driver’s license and a yellow prison visitation card that did not belong to her.

After experiencing the poor processing to get into Gulf Prison’s Annex visitation area, it was no surprise to DeShon’s mother when the correctional officer in charge called her to his desk to inform her that DeShon’s visit was being suspended due to DeShon having “banged on a door.” DeShon’s family never saw DeShon. The correctional officer told DeShon’s mother that “DeShon was being placed in solitary confinement for banging on a door.” The correctional officer would not look at DeShon’s mother as he spoke—which calls into question the correctional officer’s mental state and motive. If DeShon banged on a door—was it really to the level for the correctional officer to place DeShon in solitary confinement?

The misuse of solitary confinement by correctional officers is why President Obama and many competent governors across the United States are banning the use of solitary confinement in jails, in juvenile detention centers and prison facilities.

“Security is more sufficient at the Orange County Courthouse than at Gulf Prison Annex. I’m concerned about my son’s safety—physically and mentally,” DeShon’s mother said.

Naturally, DeShon’s family, including his five-year-old niece, were disappointed about not being allowed to visit with DeShon. However, DeShon’s mother knows that DeShon’s kidnapping was carried out by a group of people who have NO ethics and NO morals.

Captain James Kirkland was said to have orchestrated the incident that led him and five other correctional officers to viciously beat a black inmate. Captain James Kirkland had NO ethics and NO morals. James Kirkland orchestrated his suicide possibly because there was NO one around him to demonstrate what life as a correctional officer with MORALS and ETHICS looks like. A lot of correctional officers in Florida feel pressured on the job. How many more Captain James Kirkland’s will there be before political leaders really pay attention to why the rate of correctional officers committing suicide continue to rise?