16 died in NYC jails last year: Report

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At least 16 people died in New York’s jails in 2021, and most were awaiting trial and died on Rikers Island, the notorious 90-year-old warren of cellblocks separated from the city’s mainland by the East River, a media report said

“The deaths have received outsize scrutiny compared with years past, with many seemingly preventable, especially after recent reforms put in place at the jails and the emptying of thousands of inmates during the pandemic,” Xinhua news agency quoted The New York Times report as saying.

Inmates were found hanging from the ends of makeshift nooses or slumped from drug overdoses in a place with a basic responsibility to keep each inmate safe from harm, pending trial or release, it added.

Some of the men were past middle age, others in their prime.

More than a few fought crippling addictions and many had lifelong mental health issues, according to the report.

“All but one of those who died were Black or Hispanic. They faced a constellation of charges, from parole violations to robbery, assault, even murder. At least six died by suicide, and at least three others by overdose,” The New York Times report added.

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