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Rikers Island inmate with mental health issues dies by suicide

A 25-year-old Rikers Island inmate who suffered from psychological well being points hung himself in his cell Saturday afternoon, marking the fourth in-custody demise on the embattled jail advanced up to now this yr, The Publish has discovered. 

Dashawn Carter, who arrived on Rikers Thursday on housebreaking and theft expenses, was found by a correction officer hanging from a sheet hooked up to a window in his cell on the Anne M. Kross Focus on 5 p.m., inside information obtained by The Publish present. 

The jail guard minimize down the sheet and positioned Carter on the mattress. He was pronounced lifeless by an on-site physician eight minutes later, the information present. 

Correction officers are required to do excursions of normal housing areas each thirty minutes, however many posts on the lockup proceed to go unmanned amid a staffing disaster, jailhouse sources stated. It was not instantly clear how lengthy Carter had been hanging earlier than he was observed.

“Inmates are looking after themselves. Nothing has modified” since Commissioner Louis Molina was appointed to helm the jail by Mayor Eric Adams in January, one supply stated. 

The supply stated Carter was recognized to have psychological well being points and that he had been hospitalized earlier than being positioned again normally inhabitants. 

The town medical expert will decide his reason behind demise.

The jail guard cut down the sheet and placed Carter on the bed. He was pronounced dead by an on-site doctor eight minutes later.
The jail guard minimize down the sheet and positioned Carter on the mattress. He was pronounced lifeless by an on-site physician eight minutes later.
AP Picture/Seth Wenig, File

The jail has been within the throes of a disaster introduced on by a ballooning jail inhabitants and a staffing scarcity that has left each inmates and employees at risk. 

Three different inmates have died in-custody up to now this yr – two that occurred inside two days of one another in March. Their causes of demise have but to be launched.

Manhattan federal prosecutors final month informed a choose they had been “alarmed” by the continued violence at Division of Correction services — and floated the thought of a federal takeover if the company doesn’t enhance situations.  

Rikers has been in the throes of a crisis brought on by a ballooning jail population and a staffing shortage that has left both inmates and workers in danger.
Rikers has been within the throes of a disaster introduced on by a ballooning jail inhabitants and a staffing scarcity that has left each inmates and employees at risk.
EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Final November, The Publish revealed that solely a fraction of uniformed DOC employees had accomplished required suicide prevention refresher trainings.

Uniformed staffers on Rikers are required to finish the course annually however between Nov. 1, 2020 and Nov. 8, 2021, solely round 2,400 out of roughly 8,800 had obtained the up to date lifesaving coaching, the DOC stated. 

Throughout that point similar interval, six inmates killed themselves whereas in DOC custody — greater than the previous 5 years mixed and probably the most detainee suicides seen since 2003, when the typical jail inhabitants was 14,533, almost triple the quantity it’s now, in keeping with metropolis information. 

Molina, the DOC commissioner, issued an announcement after Carter’s demise, saying that any demise in custody is “a tragic occasion and an impactful loss.”  

“We’re really heartbroken for this particular person’s household and family members and we want to categorical our deepest condolences,” Molina stated.

“As with all deaths in custody, we are going to work with our companion businesses on an instantaneous and full investigation.”

In 2021, 16 folks died in DOC custody — greater than in 2019 and 2020 mixed and probably the most fatalities since 2016. 

In case you are scuffling with suicidal ideas or are experiencing a psychological well being disaster and reside in New York Metropolis, you may name 1-888-NYC-WELL free of charge and confidential disaster counseling. If you happen to reside exterior the 5 boroughs, you may dial the 24/7 Nationwide Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org

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