Jerome Murdoughs was a homeless veteran who died after spending weeks in jail on Rikers Island. Murdough, who suffered from mental illness and was homeless, was originally arrested for allegedly stealing $37 worth of heating fuel from a street cart. He was later found dead in his cell from what officials say was exposure to extreme heat. Jerome’s death sheds light on the harsh realities that homeless people face and the lack of proper resources available to them.
Despite being arrested for a petty crime, Jerome Murdoughs faced incredibly harsh conditions while incarcerated at Rikers Island. His cell was reportedly over 100 degrees, and he had been without water or power for several days leading up to his death. This tragic event highlights the desperate need for reform in the criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to the treatment of homeless people.
Homelessness is a serious problem in our society, and too often those who are most vulnerable are neglected. Jerome Murdoughs was only one individual, but his death represents the countless lives that have been lost due to homelessness. We must do better by those who are most at risk, and provide them with the resources they need to survive.
In 2013, when he was arrested and charged with trespassing, Jerome Murdough, a fifty-six-year-old former Marine, was seeking for a secure location to rest. He was fined around $2,000 and sent to Rikers Island because his finances were insufficient. Murdough was in the suicide watch section of the prison due to a history of mental illnesses, and he was supposed to be examined every fifteen minutes. According to autopsy results, he most likely died of heatstroke or severe dehydration, suggesting that he wasn’t checked as required by procedure.
Jerome Murdough’s tragic story sheds light on a much larger issue: the plight of America’s homeless population. Homelessness is a complex social problem that does not have a simple solution. While there are many contributing factors, including mental illness and addiction, one of the main reasons people become homeless is because they cannot afford housing.
In most cases, people who become homeless were once part of the workforce but lost their jobs due to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. The lack of affordable housing and jobs has resulted in an increase in homelessness across the United States.
The number of people experiencing homelessness has decreased slightly in recent years, but there are still over 578,000 people without homes on any given night in America. Homelessness is not just a problem in big cities; it is present in every state and congressional district. Homelessness can impact anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity.
People who are homeless face many challenges. They often do not have access to basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. They are also more likely to experience violence, abuse, and exploitation. In addition, people who are homeless are at a higher risk for health problems such as chronic illness, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.
There are many organizations that work to address the issue of homelessness. These organizations provide services such as food assistance, housing assistance, job training, and mental health services. However, the need for these services continues to grow as the number of people who are homeless increases.
There is no easy solution to homelessness, but it is important to raise awareness about the issue and to support organizations that provide services to those who are homeless. Jerome Murdough’s story is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to help those who are struggling.
The death of Jerome Murdough offers a gloomy indication of what the future holds for the homeless if we continue to make their life-sustaining activities, such as finding a safe place to sleep, illegal and provide no real assistance in dealing with the rapidly growing homeless population. Cities all over the United States are taking measures to address homelessness in their communities. Their answer: Make it a crime.
Jerome Murdough was homeless and mentally ill. He was arrested for trespassing in a public housing building where he was seeking refuge from the cold weather. Jerome was found dead in his jail cell after only four days due to extreme heat exposure. This tragic event could have been easily prevented if Jerome had received the help he needed instead of being criminalized for being homeless.
City officials are quick to place blame on the victim, Jerome Murdough, in this case and insist that making homelessness illegal is the way to go; however, this is not a solution but rather another problem. Making it illegal to be homeless does nothing to address the underlying causes of homelessness, such as lack of affordable housing, poverty, and unemployment.
It also does nothing to provide homeless people with the necessary resources, such as housing, food, and job training, to get them back on their feet. In fact, making homelessness illegal just punishes homeless people for being in a difficult situation and creates another level of difficulty for them to overcome.
It is time for city officials to start taking action to solve the problem of homelessness instead of criminalizing homeless people. This can be done by creating affordable housing, providing job training and assistance, and setting up shelters that are safe and welcoming. Jerome Murdough’s death is a tragic example of what happens when we do not address the underlying causes of homelessness. We cannot let this happen again. Let Jerome Murdough be the last person to die from being homeless in America.
Jerome Murdough was a homeless veteran who was arrested and later died in prison after being locked in a overheated cell. Murdough’s death could have been prevented if better judgement would have been used by those enforcing the laws against homelessness. The officers that found him unresponsive and not breathing should have known that the temperature in his cell was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and they should have also known that he had mental illness. In fact, all of the officers working that night were aware of Murdough’s condition. Jerome Murdough was a victim of the very laws that were meant to help him.
The criminalization of homelessness is not a new issue, but it is one that needs to be addressed. In 1987, the Federal government passed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which aimed to provide assistance to homeless people across the country. The act stated that “homelessness is a national problem that requires a national response” and that no person should be without shelter (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). This act protects the rights of homeless people and ensures they have access to the same resources as everyone else in America. However, many cities are choosing to ignore this act and pass their own laws against homelessness.