Rikers Island

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He Sat in Rikers for 5 Months; $2 Would Have Freed Him

Aitabdel Salem says he didn't know his bail had changed

(Newser) - Aitabdel Salem needed to hand over only $2 to bail himself out of Rikers Island, a fact he found out after a five-month stay. The 41-year-old Queens man was initially jailed on $25,000 bail for allegedly attacking an officer who arrested him on suspicion of theft at a retail... More »

Woman's Rikers Nightmare Ends in Plea Deal

Candie Hailey, 32, spent more than 2 years in solitary

(Newser) - Candie Hailey's horrific experience with Rikers Island—which included solitary confinement, suicide attempts, and smearing feces on herself—has finally ended in a plea deal, the AP reports. The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to non-criminal charges Monday for her behavior at Rikers, where she served 29 months awaiting a trial... More »

Ex-Rikers Inmate: 2-Plus Years in Solitary Ruined Me

'I don't think I'll ever be normal again': Candie Hailey

(Newser) - Six weeks after her arrival at Rikers Island, an argument over who should clean a shower sent Candie Hailey to solitary confinement—known as "the bing." It was the first time, but it would not be the last. Of her first 29 months in jail, Hailey served about... More »

Ex-Rikers Inmate Killed on Eve of Huge Payout

Robert Hinton had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner with his family

(Newser) - Robert Hinton had a chance to move on with his life. But the former inmate of Riker's Island—whose savage beating there by guards spawned a pending $450,000 settlement—was shot and killed Thursday night outside a housing project in Brooklyn, the Daily News reports. Hinton had just... More »

Suit: Black Man Did 6 Weeks at Rikers— Over Hoodie

NYC's David Owens lost his job after being accused of crime he didn't commit

(Newser) - A solid alibi did nothing to keep David Owens from getting arrested—because he matched a less-than-credible witness' vague description of a subway thief who was a young black male in a hoodie, the New York Daily News reports. Owens is now suing New York City and 11 NYPD officers... More »

Prosecutors: Rikers Guards Beat Low-IQ Teen Inmate

Mentally challenged youth was allegedly attacked in a camera-less supply room

(Newser) - Two guards at Rikers Island are facing prison time themselves after being charged with assaulting an 18-year-old mentally challenged inmate and lying on paperwork to cover it up, the AP reports. In December, Ambiorix Celedonio, who has an IQ of 65, was working in the mess hall when he got... More »

NYC to Do Away With Bail for Non-Violent Suspects

Beginning in 2016, judges can replace bail with supervision

(Newser) - Thousands of New Yorkers accused of low-level or non-violent crimes won't face the prospect of raising cash for bail under a plan that seeks to keep such suspects out of the troubled Rikers Island jail complex. The $18 million city plan, detailed to the AP ahead of the announcement... More »

Guy Awaits Trial for—Get This— 7 Years at Rikers

Carlos Montero says he's 'depressed' and maintains his innocence

(Newser) - Carlos Montero has spent nearly seven years behind bars on Rikers Island without being found guilty of a crime. The Manhattan man, who says he's "depressed" and "wants to go home," is still awaiting trial in the killing of one man and the slashing of another... More »

Innocent Man 'Tortured' at Rikers Kills Self

As a teen, Kalief Browder was beaten, starved during 3 years in prison

(Newser) - A man arrested at 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, then held at Rikers Island for three years—two of which he spent in solitary confinement—until his case was dismissed in 2013, committed suicide on Saturday. He was 22. Kalief Browder was starved and beaten by officers and inmates... More »

New York Hired Prison Guards With Gang Ties

Others had psych problems or criminal histories

(Newser) - So just how did things get so bad at Rikers Island, with guards there accused of the systemic abuse of inmates? One big reason is that the state has been hiring people who have no business being guards, reports the New York Times . Applicants with gang affiliations, criminal histories, close... More »

Teen Died After Rikers Guards Ignored Screams: Suit

Andy Henriquez's family is suing Corizon for unspecified damages

(Newser) - A new lawsuit claims a teen inmate at Rikers Island died in solitary confinement while begging for medical attention. The family of Andy Henriquez says he complained of chest pain for seven months before he was found dead of a ruptured aorta last April at 19. "He used to... More »

Rikers Captain Faked Inmate Suicide Attempt in Coverup: Report

Video shows her making noose after beating

(Newser) - New York state officials are looking into no fewer than 129 cases of suspected abuse of inmates at Riker's Island in the wake of a New York Times investigation . And the Times relays a new incident, courtesy of the head of New York City's Department of Investigation, that... More »

Rikers Guards Beat Mentally Ill Inmates With Impunity

Times discovers that 129 were injured over 11 months

(Newser) - Guards at Rikers Island don't just neglect the mentally ill or let them bake to death , they also routinely brutally beat them, often without suffering any repercussions, a New York Times investigation has discovered. The Times uncovered a secret report compiled by a city department this year that found... More »

What It's Like to Visit Rikers Island

Even among prisons, it stands out in terms of long waits and security

(Newser) - News that Rikers Island prison is investigating the alleged smuggling of drugs and weapons by guards prompts Dateline producer Dan Slepian to recount his first visit to the facility in the course of his work. Think every airport security or bank line you've ever been in, then multiply by... More »

Inmate Died After Week Alone in Rikers Cell

Mental health staffers failed to look in on Bradley Ballard as he acted out

(Newser) - Rikers Island might just have a problem with inmates who are mentally ill. A 39-year-old man was found naked and unresponsive on the floor of his cell after being left there, alone, for seven straight days, while being denied some of his medication, an AP report out today reveals. Bradley... More »

Rikers Makes Changes After Vet 'Baked to Death'

Warden Rose Argo will be placed in charge of a facility that doesn't house mentally ill

(Newser) - Rikers Island is taking action over the headline-generating death of Jerome Murdough, the mentally ill homeless veteran who " basically baked to death " in a Rikers cell in February. New York City's Correction Department has removed the warden in charge of Rikers' mental health unit, saying it had... More »

Homeless Vet 'Basically Baked to Death' in NY Jail

Riker's Island having trouble with mental illness, violence

(Newser) - Guards at Rikers Island are supposed to check on mentally ill inmates every 15 minutes. But when Jerome Murdough was booked for sleeping on a housing project roof, he was left unattended long enough to keel over dead from overheating, the AP revealed today. The former Marine was left alone... More »

NYC Inmates Cost Nearly $168K Per Year

That's almost as much as four years of Ivy League tuition

(Newser) - In New York, the annual cost of one inmate is almost as much as four years of Ivy League tuition: $167,731. That's $460 per day for an average of 12,287 prisoners, and it's quite a bit higher than what other big cities spend: $47,063 a... More »

Pack of Smokes in NY Jails: $200

A ban on smoking has led to a budding black market behind bars

(Newser) - Smoking will now also kill your wallet—at least if you're behind bars in New York, where Michael Bloomberg's ban on smoking has led to black market prices that have hit a staggering $200 a pack. As the New York Daily News reports, contraband busts have risen by... More »

Ex-Con Snuck Back Into Rikers Island: Cops

He's accused of impersonating corrections official

(Newser) - Police say a former Rikers Island inmate managed to sneak back into the prison repeatedly by impersonating a corrections official. Matthew Matagrano, 36, allegedly used the badge and ID of the official for at least a week to get back inside and mingle with inmates before his arrest yesterday, reports... More »

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