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Dept. of Correction identifies inmate who died at Rikers Island; marks 11th death there this year

The Department of Corrections says an inmate, identified as 42-year-old Karim Issabdul, passed away at the North Infirmary Command around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

News 12 Staff

Sep 20, 2021, 10:37 AM

Updated 1,007 days ago

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Another inmate has died at Rikers Island just hours after families of inmates rallied Sunday demanding better treatment for those incarcerated.
The Department of Corrections says an inmate, identified as 42-year-old Karim Issabdul, passed away at the North Infirmary Command around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 
The death comes on the heels of a rally on the same day in which the family of an incarcerated man on the island gathered outside of the Bronx Hall of Justice.
The Department of Corrections says they believe Issabdul’s passing was due to natural causes. Issabdul’s death marks the 11th inmate death at Rikers Island this year.
Advocates are demanding a federal investigation into what they say is a crisis at Rikers Island. 
Criminal Defense Attorney Sarah Pervez says her father is imprisoned on the island and enduring inhumane conditions. She goes on to say it is "absolute mayhem" and violence is at an all-time high.
Regarding the death, the Department of Corrections Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi released a statement saying, "Providing for the safety of incarcerated people is our core mission, and I am heartbroken that we have seen yet another death of a human being entrusted to our care. The cause of this death so far appears to be natural, but there is nothing natural about what is happening in our jail system right now.”
Tony Herbert, the candidate for public advocate, and his running mate met at the Rikers Island bridge Monday morning to call out the city for allegedly stalling safety measures that they say would have given DOC officers the tools they needed to keep themselves and the inmates on the island safe.
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a five-point order executing an Emergency Rikers Relief Plan for the troubled facility. 
On Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the “Less is More”  law ordering the release of 191 inmates from Rikers Island. 
Local advocates say safety measures were stalled, which would have given correction officers more needed tools to keep the facility safe. 


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