Two Deaths Put NYC Jail System Under Scrutiny

Another man is dead after being locked in a prison cell for seven days.

Posted: 05/23/2014 10:25 AM EDT
Rikers Island Jail

NEW YORK (AP) — The recent deaths of two inmates at New York's Rikers Island jail have renewed questions about the city's ability to deal with the burgeoning number of mentally ill people behind bars.

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley says she has scheduled a hearing next month on the matter.

The Associated Press first reported on the deaths of Bradley Ballard and Jerome Murdough.

Documents obtained by the AP show Ballard died after spending seven days locked alone in a cell. City officials speaking on condition of anonymity say he had wrapped a rubber band tightly around his genitals.

As for the other inmate, court documents show he died after a heating system malfunction caused the temperature in his cell to rise to 101 degrees.

Both inmates had been jailed in a special unit for mentally ill inmates.


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 (Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

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