The Phoenix Flyer

FL prison officer sentenced for assaulting young inmate in broom closet

By: - September 10, 2021 10:41 am

Credit: Iuoman/Getty Images

Former Florida prison officer Terrance Reynolds, convicted of conspiracy to assault and intimidate young inmates at a South Florida prison, was sentenced in federal court this week to 33 months in prison.

Reynolds, 31, was tried and convicted of conspiring with another officer to assault and intimidate the young inmates. Reynolds and another officer in March 2017 beat a young inmate and forced two others to watch, inside a broom closet in a youth dorm of the South Florida Reception Center, a state prison in Doral, according to a news announcement late Thursday from the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Court records show the dorm houses inmates in their teens and early 20s, separated from older offenders, and that the interior of the closet cannot be viewed via security cameras elsewhere in the dorm.

The other officer in the case, Brendan Taylor, resigned, pleaded guilty, testified against Reynolds, and was sentenced in federal court, according to court records.

The Justice Department said Reynolds and Taylor conspired to beat and intimidate the inmates for “being disruptive and disrespectful earlier that morning” to two other corrections officers. The guards directed the inmates into the closet and assaulted one of the three while the others were forced to watch. Another of the three was similarly beaten the next day for discussing the incident, the news release says.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General.

“Corrections officers who use unjustified force against inmates in their custody violate the Constitution, and the Justice Department will not tolerate that,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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Laura Cassels
Laura Cassels

Laura Cassels is a reporter, former statehouse bureau chief, and former city editor. She is a classical pianist, a Florida State University graduate and proud alum of the Florida Flambeau, an independent college newspaper. Contact her at [email protected]