On September 27, 2016, New York City agreed to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the mother of a mentally ill man found in his cell naked and covered in feces. It was claimed that Bradley Ballard, age 39, was locked in a cell for 6 days without running water and sufficient insulin for his diabetes, prior to his death on September 11, 2013. An investigation by the New York State Commission of Corrections reported that Mr. Ballard was suffering from sepsis (blood borne bacterial infection) which developed after he mutilated his genitals and for which he did not receive adequate medical treatment.
According to the Commission of Correction report: the medical care provided by the City and an outside contractor, was "so incompetent and inadequate as to shock the conscience." Yet - what happened to Mr. Ballard is not such a surprise to the inmates at Rikers Island or their families. This is yet another example of a mentally ill inmate who did not get the proper psychiatric treatment for the condition that likely led to their incarceration. There are just too many other inmates who have been abused and deprived of their right to proper medical treatment. When you lock them up - only you can provide for their safety and medical care.