Miami-Dade Corrections, Rehab director retires

Timothy Ryan's last day will be January 17 2014


MIAMI – The director of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department retired Friday.

Timothy Ryan came to Miami from California in 2006 with a reputation as a reformer, but reforming the county's corrections system has been a challenge.

His retirement came three months after the Department of Justice completed a week-long observation of the corrections department after finding it "provides constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care" to inmates. Plans for a new $22 million jail facility for the mentally ill were recently announced.

At the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) in June, an inmate jumped from the second floor to escape an attack by other inmates who got out of their cells when all cell doors opened simultaneously. The incident remains under investigation.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez credited Ryan with reducing the inmate population from 7,400 in 2006 to 5,000; improving the living conditions by opening an assisted-living unit, a geriatric housing unit, and a detoxification unit; and, opening a modern centralized intake center at TGK.

"If you want to say mental health in inmates in the same phraseology, you need to say Judge Steve Leifman," said Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman.

Heyman also faulted Ryan and county administrators for doing nothing with the old state forensic hospital Northwest 7th Avenue, which was given to the county to house mentally ill inmates.

Ryan's last day will be January 17, 2014.