Life Inside

I Officiated a Lesbian Wedding on Rikers Island

Jail had put the baby-making on hold, but the marriage was going ahead as planned.
Emma Gilbey Keller

The Lawyers Trying to Get Their Clients Sent to Jail

Public defenders in New York City are actually trying to get immigrant clients sent to Rikers to avoid the feds—and deportation.
Sonja Sharp
New York

Rikers Corrections Officer Accused of Raping Inmates for Years to Stand Trial

Two women who say they were repeatedly raped by officer Benny Santiago have reached a settlement with the city of New York—but they have not dropped their allegations against the man they say sexually abused them.
Leila Ettachfini
Desus & Mero

Black Panther Activist Jamal Joseph Recounts His Time at Rikers and Growing Up in the Bronx

Joseph visited 'Desus & Mero' to talk about discrimination, creating a generation of "artivists," and being in the Panther 21.
Sarah Bellman
The Future of Incarceration in America

​The Best Way to Close Jails Is to Make Them Visible

To win support for the resources and programs America's incarcerated people need, the public has to see what life is really like behind bars.
Fred Patrick
The Future of Incarceration in America

What I Learned Treating the Mentally Ill on Rikers

"If they had no mental health issues before they entered solitary, they do now!" was our unofficial mantra.
Mary Buser

I Went Home, Efrain Went to Rikers: Two Paths from the Golden Gloves

Twenty years after winning a Golden Gloves title, I tracked down Efrain, my training buddy from the ring who had gone to Rikers five days after the finals.
Aimee Berg

Women in Jail Are Being Denied Tampons, Pads, and Basic Human Dignity

For many female inmates, the scarcity of pads and tampons in jails is humiliating and a major health risk. A New York City councilwoman is trying to change that by ensuring free menstrual products for women incarcerated in the state.
Annamarya Scaccia

A Suicidal Man Jailed Over a Stolen iPhone Was Found Dead in His Cell

The 24-year-old was found sitting on a toilet, blue in the face and cold to the touch just two hours before the deadline for a mental health exam.
Allie Conti

What Kalief Browder’s Mother Thinks Should Happen to Rikers

After years of abuses, local power players are making noise about closing the notorious NYC jail complex. We asked the mother of one of the island's most tragic figures for her take.
Alysia Santo

How Rikers Island Became the Most Notorious Jail in America

From its origins as an island owned by a slaver to its more recent history of brutality and scandal, Rikers has always been tainted by controversy.
John Surico

Everything We Know About the Thursday Attack on a Rikers Island Prison Guard

Raymond Calderon was placed in a chokehold and slashed with a sharp object by a group of men alleged to have gang ties.
Brian McManus