NYC prison deaths rise to 14 as inmate is removed from livelihood

A Harlem man who had been hospitalized since attempting to hang himself in a Manhattan criminal court treasurer last week was taken off a ventilator and died Monday. year.

The man, Anthony Scott, 58, died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the latest in a string of deaths that made 2021 the deadliest year in the city prison system since 2016.

The toll has risen as the city’s correctional system grapples with converging crises – the coronavirus pandemic and rampant staff absenteeism – and has been unable to provide basic services. Against this background, there is also an increase in cases of self-harm among inmates.

Mr Scott had autism and struggled with mental illness and substance abuse, his family’s attorney David. B. Rankin, said on Monday. “His family loved him very much,” said Mr. Rankin.

Tina Luongo, Chief Criminal Defense Practice Attorney at the Legal Aid Society, said: “Throughout his life, Mr. Scott was constantly criminalized for his struggle with mental illness, and our criminal justice system has never had the extensive tools it needs to help New Yorkers with serve acute needs, such as Mr. Scott. This bleak reality is exacerbated when our clients remain under the care of the New York City Department of Correction or the New York City Police Department, agencies that have consistently failed in their legal and moral obligations to protect our customers.”

Scott was held in jail on Thursday after being charged with assault, a court spokesman said. According to an indictment, Mr. Scott punched a nurse in the face at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia Irving Medical Center in Manhattan. He was ordered to hold on to $15,000 bail or $45,000 bail.

Guards and rescuers found him hanging in the cell, cut him and took him to the Bellevue Hospital Center, where he spent days in critical condition, according to two people familiar with his case, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details of the incident. health of a detainee. A judge granted him compassionate release on Friday.

Self-harm incidents in the city jail system are at their highest level in five years, according to the Board of Correction, with 539 cases from April to June.

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