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
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

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
The Prison Issue

Can a Former Inmate Fix Rikers as a Regulator?

After spending more than ten years in New York's prisons and jails, Stanley Richards has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the incarcerated.
Raven Rakia
America Incarcerated

How the Women Who Visit Rikers Island Navigate the Complex Dress Code

Women looking to visit loved ones in the hellish NYC jail must submit to humiliating searches and allegedly inconsistent rules about what they can and cannot wear.
Sonja Sharp

What It's Like to Live with an Ankle Bracelet

The device is, both literally and metaphorically, my greatest source of pain.
M. M.