abcKalief_Browderrikers

(Screenshot of Kalief Browder during an interview with ABC)

After spending three years in jail at Rikers Island in New York, 22-year-old Kalief Browder was finally released, but his freedom was short-lived.

At 16, Browder, a Bronx resident, was arrested in May 2010 for stealing a backpack, but never had a trial and was never found guilty of a crime. His family could not afford his $3,000 bail, and he stayed in jail awaiting a trial for days, weeks, months and eventually years.  Browder was offered a plea deal after 33 months, but he turned it down.

In April, video was released showing Browder being abused not only by other inmates but also officers as well. Browder was eventually charged with second-degree robbery, but the charges were dropped, releasing him from prison in May 2013.

An article in The New Yorker gave Browder national recognition, but out of jail, he almost recreated the conditions of solitary, and was uncomfortable in large groups.

Kalief Browder spent three years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island before taking his life. (AP Photo)

After being released from Rikers Island, Browder was attending community college in the Bronx according to The New York Times, and getting his life back together.

On June 6, Browder committed suicide by hanging himself in his parent’s backyard.  According to reports, Browder tried to commit suicide six other times.

“Prior to going to jail, I never had any mental illnesses,” Browder said before his death, according to CNN.  “I never tried to hurt myself, I never tried to kill myself, I never had any thoughts like that. I had stressful times prior to going to jail, but not like during jail. That was the worst experience that I ever went through in my whole life.”