Advocates call for Rikers Island to close after 19th death

Renewed calls to shut down the Rikers Island jail complex echoed outside of City Hall on Tuesday, following the 19th death of an inmate at the facility or shortly after being released.  
Prison reform advocates are calling for the closure just days after 39-year-old Edgardo Mejias died in Department of Correction custody on Rikers Island.  
The Department of Correction tells News 12 that Meias died Sunday while in custody and the death is being investigated.  
Calls to close the jail have been continued throughout 2022, as advocates and New Yorkers have criticized the facility for its violence, neglect and deplorable conditions.  
Back in 2019, the City Council voted to close the jail by 2026, but advocates say that under the Adams administration, the plan is behind schedule. They are asking Mayor Eric Adams to accelerate the process of closing Rikers Island for the safety of those inside.