Last month, previously unknown details were brought to light regarding the suspicious circumstances surrounding the untimely death of 39 year-old Bradley Ballard, who died an inmate at New York’s notorious Rikers Island “Correctional” Facility. Though Ballard, whom doctors determined was mentally ill, died back in September, 2013, Rikers Island wasn’t exactly forthcoming about the circumstances leading to his death. Unfortunately, what happened to Ballard could almost be described as a regular occurrence at the Rikers Facility, where an astounding 40% of all inmates struggle with mental illness and are frequently exposed to abuse and neglect at the hands of staff members. A mere five months after conditions at Rikers resulted in Ballard’s tragic death, a distraught and homeless United States Army veteran named Jerome Murdough suffocated to death in a cell that was heated at more than 101°.
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