Another Person In Custody At Rikers Island Jail Has Died: Officials

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Another person in custody at Rikers Island jail in NYC has died, authorities announced Sunday (September 19).

According to NBC New York 4, the person has not yet been identified and the cause of death is being investigated by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. The Department of Corrections said the person was "not feeling well" on Sunday night (September 19) and was sent to the jail's clinic where personnel performed CPR. At 7:25 p.m., the person was pronounced dead.

"Providing for the safety of incarcerated people is our core mission," DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said in a statement announcing the death. "I am heartbroken that we have seen yet another death of a human being entrusted to our care. The cause of death so far appears to be natural, but that doesn't change the fact that we have serious issues in our jails," Schiraldi added.

At least 10 other people have died while in custody at Rikers Island this year alone. At least five of those who've died at the jail passed away from suspected suicides, NBC News reported. Others, like 35-year-old Thomas Braunson III endured "horrid conditions" at the jail before passing away. Braunson was the first of three people who died in custody in the month of April alone.

Advocates and officials cite staffing and supplies shortages as fueling a surge in violence and self-harm in jails across the country.

In 2019, the NYC City Council voted to close the notorious jail and replace it with four smaller facilities by 2026.

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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