Fourth inmate dies on Rikers Island as deadline to repair crisis-stricken NYC prison chairs


A 25-year-old homeless man died in an apparent suicide on Rikers Island on Saturday, just two days after being brought back to the troubled New York prison from a psychiatric hospital.

DaShawn Carter was found dead in his cell at the Anna M. Kross Center just after 5 p.m., the fourth inmate to die at Rikers this year. Two died within days in March.

Mr. Carter was in custody on charges of first-degree robbery and third-degree burglary, the New York Department of Justice said in a statement.

His death is being investigated by the Attorney General.

A source with knowledge of the incident said The New York Times Mr Carter had been cleared for return to prison by mental health officials on Thursday and was being held in the general public.

In 2021, 15 inmates died on or shortly after leaving Rikers Island. All were colored. The spate of deaths and gang violence at the prison has prompted calls from Democratic politicians for it to be shut down.

Lawmakers who visited the site in September 2021 reported overcrowded toilets and floors covered in dead roaches, feces and rotting food.

Activists have long called for Rikers Island to be closed

(Getty Images)

New York Department of Justice commissioner Louis A. Molina is expected to come up with a plan to fix problems at the prison or hand over control of the city’s largest prison to federal agencies in the coming days.

“Every death in custody is a tragic event and a profound loss,” Molina said in a statement Sunday.

“We are truly heartbroken for the family and loved ones of this individual and want to offer our deepest condolences. As with all deaths in custody, we will work with our partner authorities for an immediate and full investigation.”

Mr. Molina has until May 17 to submit his plan to rescue Rikers and will face a hearing on May 24.

An October 2021 report revealed that Rikers was under the control of its nearly 5,000 prison inmates. Fourth inmate dies on Rikers Island as deadline to repair crisis-stricken NYC prison chairs

Bobby Allyn

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