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Fix Ohio’s Prison System

Managers and supervisor who work for private employers know the full weight of responsibility that can fall on them when an employee does not properly do a job. But in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, that message appears not to have been made as clear. In fact, in the case of the death of inmate Michael McDaniel, three of the prison guards involved had been previously disciplined for excessive use of force. Lt. Bruce Brown was the supervisor during the events surrounding McDaniel’s death. The Franklin County Coroner’s office had declared McDaniel’s death a homicide and ruled the cause as a “stress-induced sudden cardiac death.” The autopsy detailed injuries to his head, face, shoulders, wrists, hands, knees, feet, toes and abdomen. McDaniel also had multiple rib fractures.

Any previous disciplinary action against this bunch clearly did not have the intended effect.

Security footage showed McDaniel, 55, being taken down to the floor by guards at least 16 times before he died Feb. 6. In addition to completing their investigation regarding those who could have prevented McDaniel’s death, the department should also take a hard look at its own internal disciplinary procedures. Something is broken. They must not wait to fix it.

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