Rikers Island

Another Rikers Inmate Dies, 5th at NYC Jail This Year

5 Rikers inmates have died at the troubled jail this year, and 20 since the start of 2021

NBC Universal, Inc.

A 31-year-old Rikers inmate died early Wednesday, the fifth inmate to die in custody since the start of the year inside the New York City jail.

Mary Yehudah passed just after 5 a.m. at Elmhurst Hospital, the Department of Correction said in a statement. A cause of death is pending, the DOC said.

Yehudah had been in custody at the Rose M. Singer Center since Feb. 12 on a 1st-degree robbery charge.

"Ms. Yehuda’s passing fills us with sadness, every life here is precious," Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement. (The DOC spelled her name both "Yehudah" and "Yehuda" in its statement.)

The commissioner is facing a fast-approaching deadline to address the ongoing crisis at the nation's second-largest jail system to avert a federal takeover.

Yehudah will go down as the 20th inmate death in less than 18 months, following 15 who died at Rikers last year,

In a four-year span from 2017 to 2020, Rikers saw 24 deaths, according to an AP tally of DOC data.

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