Four officers (three guards and a captain) at Rikers Island prison are being investigated due to claims they allowed an inmate to attempt suicide under their watch.
What We Know:
- The inmate was arrested on a parole violation in November. Authorities refused to release any information on the inmate. The inmate got into a fight in jail and was placed in an isolated area before the suicide attempt. The inmate used a piece of clothing to try and hang himself. The guards allegedly watched him for seven minutes before intervening. The 18-year-old inmate survived but is in a coma.
- Legal Aid Society is representing him and identified him as Nicholas Feliciano. They released a statement talking about how this attempt represented the broken mental health system inside these jails that have a poor track record for managing suicide risks.
- The society also demanded that they allow Feliciano’s family access to him as medical staff struggles to stabilize his condition. The family has said officers continue to staff his hospital room and hold the family to jail visiting hours and restrictions, even though the inmate remains unconscious. His doctors have contacted the city about reversing these restrictions.
- DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann stated how he finds this event very troubling and spoke about the investigation that’s ongoing with the suspended officers.
NYC Council approved on October 17th to close the jail by 2026. There will be four smaller jails to replace it.