Rikers in turmoil after at least 12 deaths: 'That's a failure on the state'

At least 12 people have died this year inside of New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex, raising concerns about the safety and oversight of the inmates. City Council leaders two years ago approved a plan to close the jail by 2026, but lawyers with clients on the island say the plan would do little to solve the systemic issues.

“If people are being held pretrial and they lose hope ... and decide to take their lives, that’s not them making a decision,” Olayemi Olurin, public defender at the Legal Aid Society, told Yahoo News. “That’s a failure on the state.”

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