Violence at Rikers at an ‘All-Time High’ Despite City’s Promise to Curb It

A federal monitor found that the number of times guards at the jail complex used force against inmates rose 54 percent, even as its population shrank. Mayor Bill de Blasio and leaders in the City Council have already agreed to close Rikers Island, one of the country’s largest urban prisons.Credit...Dave Sanders for The New York … Continue reading Violence at Rikers at an ‘All-Time High’ Despite City’s Promise to Curb It

Reading of the Preface of The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A7oJB0CaEE0 The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island was published by Deerbrook Editions. "The New Plantation takes us into the chaos of Rikers Island, giving us the vivid voices of young men--kids, really--caught in the unrelenting grip of institutional racism. I found it riveting." --Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys, Ernie's Ark, … Continue reading Reading of the Preface of The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island

Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead

Correction officers in New York City live in fear of bringing the virus home to families. They say the city has not protected them. From The New York Times By Jan Ransom May 20, 2020 For one Rikers Island correction officer, the low point came when he and his wife were both extremely sick with the … Continue reading Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead

Coronavirus Cases Are Spreading Rapidly on Rikers Island

Soap and space are still in short supply as at least 231 incarcerated people and 223 staff members test positive for COVID-19. By JULIA CRAVEN - APRIL 02, 2020 - for SLATE An aerial view of the Rikers Island prison in New York City.Debra L. Rothenberg/WireImage Between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning, 47 more incarcerated people … Continue reading Coronavirus Cases Are Spreading Rapidly on Rikers Island

“In the Building,” a chapter from my memoir, “The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island” that was adapted by “J Journal–New Writing on Social Justice”

In the Sprungs, I had grown completely comfortable with my job. I assumed the experience I had gained would be an asset in the Building. I was a little nervous that first day, but I was only nervous the way I always am when I meet a new group of students. If I had known … Continue reading “In the Building,” a chapter from my memoir, “The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island” that was adapted by “J Journal–New Writing on Social Justice”

A conversation with author Jason Trask (with David Daniel)

Back in December as part of our Literary Lowell series, we profiled local author David Daniel, author of the Alex Rasmussen detective series and a number of other books. Now it’s David’s turn to contribute a new author profile to the blog. He recently caught up with Jason Trask who now lives in Maine but who spent … Continue reading A conversation with author Jason Trask (with David Daniel)

‘The Peculiar Patriot’ takes an unflinching look at mass incarceration

https://www.washingtonpost.com/express/2019/03/27/peculiar-patriot-takes-an-unflinching-look-mass-incarceration/?utm_term=.0c29758e86fd Liza Jessie Peterson dissects the prison-industrial complex in her one-woman show, "The Peculiar Patriot." (Christine Jean Chambers/Christine Jean Chambers) By Thomas Floyd March 27 Liza Jessie Peterson had just started teaching poetry workshops at Rikers Island in 1998 when a correctional officer asked if she knew where she was. “I said, ‘Yes, I’m at Rikers … Continue reading ‘The Peculiar Patriot’ takes an unflinching look at mass incarceration

EXCLUSIVE: Could This Program Stem Surging Violence at Rikers Island?

https://observer.com/2015/07/inside-the-new-classes-aimed-at-reducing-violence-at-rikers-island/ The Observer takes an exclusive first look inside the Next Steps program, new classes offered to adult inmates at scandal-scarred Rikers Island By Jillian Jorgensen • 07/30/15 2:12pm Frank Horton, an instructor with STRIVE International, teaches a class in the George Motchan Detention Center on Rikers Island. (Photo: Emily Assiran for Observer) Inside a small classroom, Frank … Continue reading EXCLUSIVE: Could This Program Stem Surging Violence at Rikers Island?