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Rikers Island inmate found dead, 12th death this year: sources

A Rikers Island detainee was found dead in a shower early Monday, marking the 12th in-custody death at the Department of Correction this year, jailhouse sources exclusively told The Post.

The unidentified inmate – a rape suspect in his late 60s – was found in a shower with a sheet around his neck just before 6 a.m., dead from an apparent suicide, sources and the FDNY said.

The FDNY confirmed to The Post that it attempted to resuscitate the inmate, who was unconscious and suffered cardiac arrest, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had only entered Rikers last month and was in the much-maligned Eric M. Taylor Center, which houses new admissions, the sources said.

The center has been accused of squalid conditions and an alarming lack of staff – and one jailhouse source questioned if there had been an officer on duty at the time of the latest death.

Monday’s in-custody death is the 12th so far this year.
AP
Overcrowding at Rikers Island
The 12th death comes amid ongoing protests at squalid conditions and overcrowding at the complex.

“How long were they in the shower without them noticing?” the source asked. “Was there an officer on post?”

It marks the third apparent or confirmed suicide this year and the 12th in-custody death, a 50% increase from the eight such fatalities this time last year, records show.

Rikers' protests in June.
The alarming spate of in-custody deaths has already sparked numerous protests
Getty Images
Rikers Island protests.
This year’s alarming tally is well above that this time last year, which ended with the most in-custody deaths the most since 2016 and more than 2019 and 2020 combined.
Matthew McDermott

In 2021, there were six suicides among 16 in-custody deaths – the most since 2016 and more than 2019 and 2020 combined.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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