Isabdur Karim was not on the list when Governor Kathy Hokul announced on Friday that nearly 200 people in Rikers Island prisons would be released immediately for minor parole violations.
Designed to mitigate the noisy crisis in the infamous prison, Mr. Hokur’s orders ordered the release of those whose violations were considered technical, such as Mr. Karim. However, only detainees who had been detained for 30 days at the time of Mr. Hokuru’s order were eligible. Karim was imprisoned for the next 29 years.
On his 31st Sunday at the Rikers, Karim died minutes after suffering a medical emergency, and without medical and mental health care after his lawyer and longtime partner said. It was a few weeks. He was the eleventh person to die this year while in custody of the New York City prison system.
The death of two fathers, 42-year-old Karim, emphasized the complex crisis that plagued Rikers Island: staff absenteeism and an increase in cases of coronavirus. A serious flaw in the medical and mental health care of those detained in a prison complex.
According to lawyers, Karim, who used a wheelchair and had a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy and psychiatry, was infected with the virus while in prison, although no official cause of death was identified. It is unclear whether the release kept Mr. Karim alive.
“Providing the safety of imprisoned people is our central mission, and it is heartbreaking to see yet another death of a human being entrusted with our care,” said Prison Secretary Vincent. Sirardi said in a statement that the cause of death had emerged, of course, “but that does not change the fact that we have serious problems in prisons.”
Hochul signed a new law on Friday to reduce prison population by ending the practice of imprisoning those who have committed minor parole violations. According to legal standards, she ordered the release of 191 from Rikers, 165 of whom were released by Monday afternoon.
Under the new law, which will come into full force in September next year, the imprisonment of most people accused of technical parole violations, such as curfew violations and absenteeism, will be abolished. However, certain minor violations can lead to up to 30 days in prison.
The list of Rikers detainees who met the 30-day criteria was prepared the day before the order and on September 16, two days before Mr. Karim qualifies.
“He should have been released,” said Lorraine Makebilly, director of the Parole Revocation Defense Unit of the Legal Aid Association. “This shows the life-and-death situation that people face when they are detained for parole violations.”
However, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections and Regional Supervision, Thomas Mayley, said Karim’s case was reviewed this week and missed the deadline for release in days instead of hours. According to him, future releases will continue on a rolling basis.
Karim, who was released from prison in June 2018 after being convicted of selling cocaine to undercover agents, will complete his release under two years of surveillance, according to lawyers and state records. I was ordered.
However, by January 2020, Mr. Karim had stopped meeting with his parole and his arrest warrant had been issued, state officials and his lawyer said.
Then, in August, Karim was arrested by the Special Investigations Bureau of the Corrections Bureau and the Regional Supervision Bureau and taken to the Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx. His longtime partner, Felicia Huff Brock, said in a telephone interview Monday that Karim was stabbed in a quarrel.
He was hospitalized overnight. On August 18, he was sent to Rikers.
Karim was kept in the ingestion room for 10 days, his lawyer and Huff Brock said. They said he had poor access to food and was denied medication. Prisons and orthodontic health authorities did not immediately answer questions about the allegations.
“‘They don’t feed us,'” Huff Brock recalled what he said on the phone. “I don’t know what’s going on. They treat us like animals. Worse than animals.”
McEvilley said in a preliminary hearing on the parole breach on August 31, a lawyer called for an early release because of his poor health. She said the hearing was shortened after Mr. Karim had an asthma attack. He was scheduled to return to the prosecution on September 27.
However, defenders of the imprisoned people said Mr Karim should not have been detained.
“He should have been in the community with his family, friends and network, not in a prison suffering from an ongoing humanitarian crisis,” said Tina, a lawyer in charge of criminal defense at the Legal Assistance Association. Luongo said. “Technical violations such as marijuana use and reporting failures and non-criminal accusations that led to Mr. Karim’s remand should not result in a death sentence.”
Karim took a shower, slipped and fell for several days before his death, and later complained of chest pain, Huff Brock said other detainees told her. She said the doctor had planned to do an x-ray, but never. By Sunday, Mr. Karim had complained that his chest pain had worsened, Huff Brock said. He died at the North Clinic at 7:25 pm.
“They were really playing Russian roulette with him,” Huff Brock said in tears. “They allowed him to die.”
She accused Mayor Bill de Blasio and prison officers of doing nothing more to save Mr. Karim, and accused the prison officer. Almost one-third of prison system personnel were ill or otherwise unable to work with the detainees.
“These people are paid for free,” Huff Brock said. “Someone needs to get up and no one is up.”
The city filed a lawsuit against a union representing prison officers in response to absenteeism on Monday, and the absence of staff that led to the Rikers Island crisis represents an illegal strike that also endangered staff and detainees. Said.
And on Monday night, the lawyer behind the civil rights proceedings detailing widespread abuse in the Rikers reached a 2015 agreement to appoint a federal observer to oversee the prison, facing detainees. An urgent complaint was filed on the grounds of “exceptional danger”. Collapse of prison function. The lawyer called for an urgent court hearing and, in some cases, the release of the detainee.
Karim’s sister, Duha Abdul Karim, 41, from Long Island, said she was devastated when she learned of her brother’s death on Monday morning. The two hadn’t talked for nearly six years as Karim remained involved in “criminal activity,” Karim said.
Karim said he tried to contact him after seeing a news article about an attempted suicide and swallowing a battery while he was detained on Rikers Island in 2016, but he couldn’t.
“I don’t know what happened to him when he left my house,” she said.
Jona E. Bromwich When Valuable fondren Contribution report. Kitty Bennett Contributed to the research.