Another person detained by the city Department of Correction has died, officials confirmed Tuesday, marking the eighth person to die in city custody this year and the second in as many days.
Albert Drye, who was being held at Bellevue Hospital’s Prison Ward, died at 11:34 a.m. according to information provided by The Legal Aid Society, which was representing him, and the DOC. The city did not provide information on the cause of death.
“Any death in custody is a tragedy, and it’s disheartening to hear about the passing of this individual,” DOC Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement. “To learn that a loved one passed away while incarcerated is not only devastating, but extremely traumatizing. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who loved this individual.”
Legal Aid chastised the department for not being more forthcoming with information regarding Drye’s death, whom the Daily News reported was 50 years old.
“We are both heartbroken and outraged to learn of Albert Drye’s passing,” the group said in a statement. “So far, DOC has refused to provide Mr. Drye’s lawyers with the most basic information concerning his passing, and this is an all-to-common scenario.”
Legal Aid added the city corrections department was overseeing “a full-fledged humanitarian crisis.”
As previously reported by Gothamist, advocates and city leaders say the DOC has allowed conditions to deteriorate at city jails. Critics have been demanding a federal takeover of Rikers Island — the city's main jail campus — amid continued violence, and numerous inmates have said they are not given adequate medical care.
Earlier this month, a federal judge allowed the city until November to put an action plan in place for improvements, before imposing "further remedial relief."
This story has been updated to add attribution to an earlier Gothamist story.