7th Rikers Island inmate dies this year

Another inmate in custody on Rikers Island has died.

A man being held at the George R. Vierno Center died around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. The NYC Dept. of Correction says the cause of death is under investigation.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City will confirm the information.

DOC Commissioner Louis A. Molina issued a statement saying: "We are saddened to hear of the passing of this individual. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Every person in our custody is someone’s son, daughter, brother or sister, and it is an especially heartbreaking tragedy to learn that a loved one has passed away while incarcerated."

The name of the prisoner was not immediately released.

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This is the seventh death reported by a person in DOC custody this year.

All deaths in custody are first investigated by the State Attorney General’s Office and the NYC Department of Investigation, according to jail officials.

Sixteen people died while being held in custody at Rikers in 2021.

Rikers Island has been a major issue for lawmakers in New York City for the last several years. Plans to close the facility have moved slowly, while the average length of stay in the city's jails has increased from 187 days to 329 days.