Rikers Island is New York City’s largest jail. It has also been ranked as one of the 10 worst jails in America.
Of the more than 7,500 people detained at Rikers Jail on any given day, almost 80 percent have not yet been found guilty or innocent of the charges they face. All are at risk in the pervasive culture of violence that forces people to come to terms with what they must do for their own survival.
RIKERS brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. Their stories, told direct to camera, vividly describe the cruel arc of the Rikers experience — from the shock of entry, to the extortion and control exercised by other inmates, the oppressive interaction with corrections officers, the beatings and stabbings, the torture of solitary confinement and the many challenges of returning to the outside world.
And don’t miss a follow-up conversation with host Alison Stewart discussing issues raised in the documentary, the history and future of the jail complex, and reforms planned by the NYC Department of Correction, with Judge Jonathan Lippman, chair of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, and Errol Louis, political anchor at NY1.
RIKERS is a production of Schumann Media Center, Inc. and Brick City TV LLC, in association with Public Square Media, Inc. Produced by Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, with producer Rolake Bamgbose. Edited by Jason Pollard. Director of Photography Mark Benjamin. Executive Producer, Judy Doctoroff O’Neill. Executive Editor, Bill Moyers.