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October 23, 2014

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Embattled N.Y. jail’s investigations chief quits

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Julie Jacobson, Associated Press

FILE - In this July 31, 2014 file photo, an inmate at Rikers Island juvenile detention facility carries a plastic fork behind his back as he walks with other inmates in single file to the jail’s chapel for a visit from Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons and entertainer L.L. Cool J. The city’s juvenile jails are extremely violent and unsafe, the result of a deeply ingrained culture of violence in which guards routinely violate constitutional rights of teenage inmates and subject them to “rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force,” federal prosecutors said in a scathing report released Monday, Aug. 4, 2014.

NEW YORK — The head of internal investigations at New York City's embattled Rikers Island jail complex has resigned amid intense scrutiny over civil rights violations and inmate deaths.

The city says Deputy Commissioner Florence Finkle submitted her resignation Friday. Finkle hasn't returned a message seeking comment.

City spokeswoman Marti Adams says no replacement has been named.

Federal investigators this month criticized the jail system for poor accountability, a "deep-seated culture of violence" and "excessive and inappropriate" solitary confinement. Their report focused on juvenile facilities but said its conclusions could extend to all Rikers jails.

The Associated Press has written extensively on issues at Rikers including not following safeguards to prevent suicides and deaths of mentally ill inmates. One inmate died in a 101-degree cell.

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