New York City has agreed to pay $380,000 to the family of a Rikers Island inmate who hanged himself in his jail cell after being removed from suicide watch. Aris Hiraldo, killed himself with the drawstring from his nylon sweatpants in 2011, ten days after a social worker canceled his suicide watch and correction offers returned him to a regular cell.
The family of Hiraldo filed a lawsuit against the city and the Department of Correction in 2012, accusing them of negligence. Hiraldo, a father of three who lived in Brooklyn, was sent to Rikers in 2010 after being arraigned on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend.
After a mental evaluation, he was identified as an inmate who suffered from mental health problems, and who had violated disciplinary rules. As a result, Rikers Officials transferred Hiraldo to a mental health unit in the George R. Vierno Detention Center, placed him on suicide watch and kept him under medical observation. After six days, and a one-on-one interview with a social worker, Hiraldo was taken off suicide watch. However, Hiraldo remained emotionally unstable, according to records.