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NYC Board of Correction report details 19 deaths in DOC custody last year

The 35-page report narrowed in on seven of the 19 deaths between mid-August to the end of last year on Rikers Island.

Phil Taitt and Rob Taub

Apr 14, 2023, 9:27 PM

Updated 436 days ago

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A new report from the city’s Board of Correction is shedding light on the deaths of inmates in custody last year.
The 35-page report narrowed in on seven of the 19 deaths between mid-August to the end of last year on Rikers Island.
The findings included guards that were not assigned to a housing unit, correction officers’ failure to give immediate first aid to unresponsive inmates, inaccurate or incomplete logbook entries in six cases, and defendants spending more than a year in custody.
Of the seven investigations covered in the report, three inmates died by suicide, one from fentanyl overdose, one from a suspected brain injury and one from drowning complications. One of the other deaths is still pending by the medical examiner’s office.
Last week, lawmakers rallied outside of Rikers as budget negotiations reportedly remain stalled due to changes of bail reform. Gov. Kathy Hochul is looking at eliminating the "least restrictive" practice for certain cases when setting bail.
“Rikers Island is not a place for people to be able to do away with or incarcerate themselves out of the mental health crisis that our community is faced with each and every day,” said Assembly Member Latrice Walker. “However, it is being utilized that way.”
News 12 reached out to the DOC but has not received a response.


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