Inside Rikers: Stories From the World’s Largest Penal Colony


Uses first-hand narratives of prisoners to illustrate the difficulties inmates face on the road to rehabilitation.

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By Jennifer Wynn
The author describes the struggles faced daily by prisoners passing through the New York City jail system. Their stories, failures, and all too rare successes illuminate a population that has been largely ignored or looked down upon by politicians and the public.
Wynn first became acquainted with Rikers Prison in 1991 as a journalist interviewing one of its inmates. She eventually became editor of their in-house Rikers Review, director of the Prison Visiting Project, and a supporter of criminal justice reform.
The book brings to vivid life inmates’ experiences in and outside prison, detailing the drug-associated offenses that led to imprisonment; their experiences with dysfunctional families and inadequate schools, housing, and social services; and a public mentality that supports the “lock up” response as an appropriate response to law-breaking behavior.
240 pages. Softcover. 2002.



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