Miami-Dade Mayor Calls for Complete Review of Corrections Department

Joseph Wilner was the latest inmate to die while corrections was holding him

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Carlos Gimenez called for the review on Monday. Meanwhile, sources said Joseph Wilner, 49, was the third person, who corrections was responsible for, to die in just over a week. (Published Monday, Aug 26, 2013)

    On Monday, while Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez was calling for a complete review of the corrections department, NBC 6 discovered another inmate in corrections custody had died.

    Sources said Joseph Wilner, 49, was in jail for driving on a suspended license. He was picked up on Saturday. He was the third person to die in just over a week that corrections was responsible for.

    Sources say that Wilner was being held at the corrections facility at the justice center near the courthouse.

    NBC 6 was told he was taken into custody on Saturday and then Monday morning was dead.

    Commissioner Wants Corrections Dept. on Management Watch

    [MI] Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman Tells Mayor To Put Corrections Department on Management Watch
    Commissioner Sally Heyman is trying to get Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his staff to take a much stronger role over running the corrections system in the county. She spoke about an inmate who died two days after he was taken into custody. (Published Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013)

    "In terms of corrections I know that we have had some issues there recently and its a cause of concern," Gimenez said.

    Wilner is latest inmate to die while corrections was holding him.  On Aug. 21, Albert Hightower died at a West Miami-Dade facility, and three days earlier Carl Dixon died after he was taken from the Turner Guilford Knight, not to Jackson Memorial Hosptial where many inmates recieve treatment, but to Metropolitan Hospital.

    Inmate Gerard Kenny died July 24,  Joaquin Cairo died July 9, and Juan Matos-Flores died in April.

    Commissioner Sally Heyman says, "A department that is extremely broken to the detriment and the death of several people."

    NBC 6 obtained an internal county memo from Heyman to the mayor calling for the mayor to take a hands-on approach towards running the jails. On Monday she told commissioners she wants the him to move quickly.

    "I am going to take a more hands-on approach. I gotta meet witih the commissioner. We are going to talk about her concerns," Gimenez said.

    Sources said corrections officers have been meeting with officials at County Hall about incidents like the one where inmate Kenneth Williams jumped over a second floor railing he says to save his life after cell doors opened by accident.

    The mayor says every facet of the jails operation and the recent deaths will be examined.

    "We will be looking at that investigating what exactly happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen in the future," he said.

    The mayor told NBC 6 there is about $110 million he has been able to get his hands on from two different pots of money that he wants corrections to have to update their facilities.

    Heyman, the Mayor's staff and the Corrections Dept. are going to meet this week.

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