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Yet Another Person Dies While Detained at Rikers Island Jail Complex

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Contact: Yonah Zeitz, yonah@katalcenter.org • 347-201-2769

Follow on Twitter @KatalCenter •  #ShutRikers #CloseRikers #CutShutInvestNY

Yet Another Person Dies While Detained at Rikers Island Jail Complex

Since Mayor Adams Took Office, At Least 27 People Have Died in NYC Jails

Death Comes Less Than Two Weeks after U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain Opens Door for a Federal Takeover of Rikers

Statement by Katal Center 

New York, NY: This morning, news broke that Donny Ubiera, who was incarcerated on Rikers Island, passed away at age 33. This is at least the 27th death in New York City jails since Mayor Eric Adams took office.

The death comes less than two weeks after people directly impacted by Rikers, along with community groups and elected officials gathered at City Hall to demand that Mayor Adams take immediate action to shut down the notorious Rikers Island Jail Complex. 

Statement from Luke Steele, Leader of the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice: “I have been detained at Rikers, and I can tell you that the conditions found there are straight out of a nightmare. No one deserves to be there. Under Mayor Adams’ watch the conditions have gone from bad to worse. It is upsetting and infuriating to learn that yet another life has been lost in New York City Jails. Since the Mayor took office, at least 27 incarcerated individuals have died in city jails. I feel for the individuals that we have lost and send my deepest condolences to those who loved them. We are in a crisis and it needs to be addressed. Something needs to be done about the internal affairs of Rikers and the lack of transparency and accountability. How can a person pass away under the Mayor’s watch and the DOC continue to turn a blind eye? It is clear that under this administration there is no accountability and safety protocols continue to be violated. These deaths could have been prevented. People’s rights as human beings are being taken away the minute they step into Rikers. Mayor Adams, you need to shut down Rikers. And until Rikers is shut down, the federal courts must appoint a receiver to improve conditions and save lives!”

### #ShutRikers #CloseRikers #CutShutInvestNY


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