Mentally ill prisoner at Rikers Island found dead, covered in feces

Bradley Ballard

Prison staff at Rikers Island could face punishment after a mentally ill prisoner was found dead in his cell, covered in feces and a rubber band tied around his infected penis.

According to the Associated Press, Bradley Ballard was sentenced to Rikers Island for parole violation and was confined to his cell for seven days after making a lewd gesture at a female guard. He has a history of mental illness and must take medicine daily for schizophrenia and diabetes.

However, prison guards denied him his medication for a week. When they finally checked his cell, they realized that Ballard’s toilet was clogged. He was covered in feces and his penis was infected and swollen. Ballard could barely move and was rushed to the hospital. He died hours later.

The staff at Rikers Island broke the law by not checking on Ballard frequently. Under New York State law, mental health staffers must check on mentally ill prisoners twice per day. The staff at Rikers Island checked on Ballard once in seven days.

The New York Board of Corrections is currently investigating the case.

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