According to the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, the death of a mentally ill man who was left alone in his Rikers Island cell without medication for seven days has been declared a homicide.

According to the Associated Press, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said yesterday that Bradley Ballard's death last September was due to diabetic ketoacidosis and genital ischemia. The 39-year-old's body was discovered in his cell, lying in his feces with a rubber band tied around his genitals. His death came a week after he had been placed in a mental observation unit for making an obscene gesture toward a female guard. 

Furthermore, Ballard, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and diabetes, had not been given his medication for the majority of that time in confinement. Though correction officers reportedly checked on him, he wasn't removed from his cell until his body was found. 

The Associated Press notes that the Department of Correction declined comment due to the open investigation. Ballard's death came five months before another mentally ill Rikers inmate, Jerome Murdough, who essentially "baked to death" inside of his cell after being left alone by guards. 

This news comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed that a task force will revamp how corrections facilities deal with mentally ill inmates moving forward.

[via Associated Press]

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