Notorious Prisons in the USA – Rikers Island

11 Jan, 2017//Posted by : aebbvelocityloca//Category : blog

Continuing the series on the notorious prisons in the USA, we go across the country from our previous entries, to New York. The next prison complex is Rikers Island, located on the eponymous island in the East River. This is actually not a single prison, but rather a complex of 10 separate prisons which house the majority of inmates in the New York State. It is ranked as one of the ten worst correctional facilities in the USA, for both the inmates and the staff. Rikers Island also detains people pretrial if they don’t post bail. If you wish to avoid sitting in prison unnecessarily, contact Affordably Easy Bail Bonds for San Marcos bail bonds.


As the name suggests, it is located on an island. This island lies in the East River in New York City, between Queens and Bronx, close to the LaGuardia Airport. The island started out as a 100 acre plot, but has seen several works to extend its area. Today, it has swollen to over 400 acres. Early works were carried out by the inmates themselves.


The island is probably named for the Dutch explorer Abraham Rycken, whose heirs sold the island to the Long Island City in 1884. In 1860s, it was used for military practice during the Civil war. After the war, its intended use was a workhouse. The idea of turning this state land into a prison came in 1925. It was supposed to alleviate the overcrowded prison on Welfare Island (Roosevelt Island today). It was opened in 1932.


The initial jailhouse was closed in 2000 due to serious structural issues. Most of the current facilities house adult male inmates, but facilities for females and adolescent males are also present. Apart from the housing buildings, there are some medical facilities, including a specialized prison nursery and meth rehabilitation clinic. As for the work buildings, Rikers Island has a bakery, laundry, tailor’s, print shop, maintenance unit and its own power plant.

Staff and population

The prison can hold up to 15,000 inmates, but the average population is closer to 10000 inmates. The staff consists of 9000 officers and over 1,500 civilian workers. The staff is large because they manage the pre-trial detention, and over 100,000 people circulate through this prison’s system each year.


There have been numerous problems with this prison. Very frequent physical clashes between the inmates and the staff make this one of the worst places both for guards to work and for the inmates to be imprisoned. There have been many complaints by the inmates of excessive use of force by the guards, which have been documented on CCTV cameras, and settled for large sums of money. Since the prison includes a mentally ill ward, there have been some instances of patient abuse as well. More importantly, some patients have been neglected when complaining of various medical problems, which ultimately lead to some serious injuries and illnesses, and even death of some. The prison separated the members of the LGBT population from the general population to protect them. The ward was closed in 2005.

Even though Rikers Island is on the opposite end of this great country, the prison system is identical, and many people in Rikers are sitting there needlessly, awaiting trial. If you are in a similar situation, exercise your right to a bail. If you can’t meet your bail, consider using the services of Affordably Easy Bail Bonds Agency. San Marcos bail bonds are easily attainable if you contact us now and explain your situation to our trained agents.

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