Officers assaulted children in a juvenile facility.

Corrections Officer Terrance Reynolds, 31, was convicted and sentenced to 33 months in prison and two years of supervised release following a fourteen-day trial for conspiring to assault children at the South Florida Reception Center, a prison located in Doral, Florida. A second former officer previously pleaded guilty in this case and was sentenced in federal court.

On March 27, 2017, Reynolds and Sergeant Brendan Butler, 31, conspired to physically assault the children. Their reasoning for the assaults they said, is because the children were being disruptive and disrespectful earlier that morning. Reynolds and Butler forced three children into a broom closet. They made two of the inmates watch as they assaulted one of the children with a stick, causing him bodily injury. The following day, Reynolds and Butler assaulted one of the other children to punish him for being disrespectful. Butler previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the inmates’ civil rights. (Civil Rights Division Press Release Number: 21-851)

The FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Senior and Brian Dobbins of the Southern District of Florida and Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division investigated the incidents.

“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. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of prisoners and prosecuting officers who break the public’s trust in this way.”

“The corrections officer sentenced violated not only the Constitution, but also the public’s trust,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida. “Seeking justice for victims whose civil rights are violated by those in positions of power has always been, and will continue to be, a top priority of this office.”

“The actions of former corrections officer Terrance Reynolds are inexcusable and undercut the public’s trust in our institutions and officials,” said Deputy Special Agent in Charge Denise M. Stemen of the FBI Miami Field Office. “The FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force was assembled and designed to root out this type of reprehensible conduct. I commend the professionalism and hard work of the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General and their close cooperation with FBI for this investigation.”

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

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