Again “Teen spends 3 years in infamous NewYork jail without ever being convicted”

Root Of Evil

Teen spends 3 years in infamous New York jail without ever being convicted

                                                     Published time: November 21, 2013 16:21                                                                            

Kalief Browder (Screenshot from WABC-TV/DT)Kalief Browder (Screenshot from WABC-TV/DT)

A young Bronx teenager spent three years in the infamously violent Rikers Island prison complex without ever being convicted of a crime.

Kalief Browder was initially arrested on his way home on May 14,  2010, after an unknown individual identified the teenager, then  16 years old, as the person who robbed him a few weeks prior.  Browder was charged with second-degree robbery and, unable to  post the $10,000 bail at the time of his arrest, was transferred  to Rikers Island.

The case never went to trial, however, and Browder languished at  Rikers Island until the charges were dropped without explanation  in June 2013.

“No apology, no nothing,” Browder said about his release  to local WABC. “They just said, ‘Oh, case dismissed. Don’t  worry about nothing.’ What do you mean, ‘Don’t worry about  nothing?’ You just took over three years of my life.”

More than two and a half years into his detainment, Browder was  offered a plea deal that would have likely released him under a  time served sentence. He did not take the deal because he did not  want to admit guilt for the crime.

The Huffington Post reported that Browder filed a civil lawsuit  in October against the Bronx District Attorney, the City of  New York, the New York City Police Department, the New York City  Department of Corrections and a multiple state-employed  individuals.

His complaint claims that not only was he was “physically  assaulted and beaten” by inmates as well as officers, but  also that he was denied meals and spent more than 400 days in  solitary confinement. The lawsuit also alleges that officers  refused to allow Browder to continue his education, and that he  attempted suicide a minimum of six times.

According to Paul Prestia, Browder’s lawyer, the teenager also  suffered from mental health issues.

“We need someone to be held accountable,” Prestia told the  Huffington Post. “This can’t just go unnoticed. To the extent  that [Browder] can be financially compensated — although it’s  not going to get those years back for him — it may give him a  chance to succeed.”

Browder is currently earning his GED, but Prestia added that he’s   “clearly way behind” where he should be at this point in  his life.

The District Attorney’s office would not comment on the case  since it has yet to be closed, but Browder’s claims about  violence at Rikers Island echo the results of an independent  review of the prison’s mental health standards that was released  this month. About 40 percent of inmates were found to be mentally  ill, the use of force has tripled since 2004, and attempts at  suicide and self-mutilation have gone up 75 percent.

The review suggested eliminating the use of solitary confinement  for mentally ill patients and recommended teaming up with a  hospital to provide various therapeutic services. …


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