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Nassau jail inmate dies; marks 5th custody fatality, officials say

Nassau County Correctional Facility is seen on Friday,

Nassau County Correctional Facility is seen on Friday, March 11, 2016, in East Meadow. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Nassau County jail inmate died while hospitalized Tuesday night, marking the facility’s fifth custody fatality this year, according to authorities.

A spokesman for Nassau Sheriff Michael Sposato said in a prepared statement the male inmate had been hospitalized since June 28 for medical reasons, and had been in custody since August 2015.

But Sheriff’s Department Capt. Michael Golio added that jail officials had no further comment on the inmate’s suspected cause of death or medical condition because of health privacy laws.

Authorities didn’t release the inmate’s name, but sources identified him as a 20-year-old from Hempstead.

The fatality follows the June death of inmate John Quaresimo, 47, of West Hempstead.

Quaresimo hanged himself with an arm sling in an infirmary jail cell on June 13, and died a day later at Nassau University Medical Center, Newsday previously reported.

Tuesday’s fatality comes at a time when the jail’s private medical provider, Armor Correctional Health Services, continues to come under scrutiny following a state oversight agency’s criticism of the company’s inmate medical care standards.

In particular, the state Commission of Correction found Armor provided inadequate care in the cases of at least four of the Nassau inmates who have died since the company first won a county contract in mid-2011.

The state attorney general’s office also has been targeting Armor’s medical practices in a separate probe.

The Florida-based company, which has repeatedly defended its operations, is currently embroiled in federal litigation with the families of four Nassau inmates who have died in custody.

Armor spokeswoman Yeleny Suarez said Wednesday in response to an inquiry about the latest inmate death that the company is committed to delivering quality patient care, but because of privacy laws and out of respect for patients, “it would be inappropriate for Armor to disclose any patient’s protected health information.”

The state commission will now investigate the death, as it does in all cases involving fatalities in jail custody.

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