- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Investigative documents obtained by The Associated Press on the 11 suicides in New York City jails over the last five years show that in at least nine cases, protocols and safeguards designed to prevent inmates from harming themselves weren’t followed. Here are brief accounts, based on the city and state documents, of some of those cases:


Died: Oct. 14, 2013

A severely depressed Moore was being held on Rikers Island for missing appointments with his parole officer when he committed suicide by hanging himself with strips of his underwear from a shower frame - his third attempt in three days behind bars.

Moore, 36, was able to kill himself despite two orders that he be constantly watched and a suicide screening form that found he was “thinking about killing himself” and was incoherent, paranoid and withdrawn.

Investigators found that after his first suicide attempt, in the Bronx courthouse lockup, he was pepper-sprayed and not taken immediately to see mental health professionals.


Died: Dec. 3, 2013

Offley, sentenced to four years weeks earlier on robbery charges, used bedsheets to string himself up from an air vent in a solitary cell Nov. 30, 2013, despite asking guards repeatedly to see mental health workers.

Investigators found that the 31-year-old single father asked a guard the morning of his suicide attempt to see a mental health worker but was told, “If you have the balls, go ahead and do it.”

City investigators later found that inmates who were trained as suicide-prevention aides and were supposed to check every 15 minutes to make sure inmates didn’t hang themselves weren’t allowed by guards to make their rounds.

Offley was pronounced dead at a hospital days later.


Died: Oct. 9, 2012

Following an Oct. 6 arrest on burglary charges, a bipolar Giannotta threatened to commit suicide and was ordered to see a psychiatrist, who found he was at risk for killing himself and should be watched around the clock and given Lithium and other medications - none of which was done, according to the documents and the order supplied by the family’s lawyer, who is suing the city.

Story Continues →