Inside Rikers

Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony

Jennifer Wynn

St. Martin's Press

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Rikers Island--just six miles from the Empire State Building--is one of the largest, most complex and most expensive penal institutions in the world, yet most New Yorkers couldn't find it on a map.

Jennifer Wynn, the director of the Fresh Start program at Rikers, takes readers into the jails and then back out-to the communities where her students were born and raised. She chronicles their journeys as they struggle to "go straight" and find respect in a city that fears and rejects them.
 
Part memoir, part social commentary, Inside Rikers details the author's experiences on Rikers. Wynn offers a compelling portrait of its 18,000 inmates and how Rikers was transformed from one of the most violent jails into one of the safest.

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Inside Rikers
1WELCOME TO THE ROCKThe vilest deeds like poison weeds, Bloom well in prison air; It is only what is good in Man That wastes and withers there ... .--Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol 
 
When I first met Angel Rivera in March of 1991, he was handcuffed to a chair at NYPD's Central Booking. I couldn't believe my luck: The elusive con artist whose scams I'd been writing about had finally been caught. The lieutenant from Special Frauds called and said I could interview him. I left my office and headed for One Police Plaza.

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Reviews

Praise for Inside Rikers

"Narrated with great power and vividness of detail, and with consummate respect for those whom it portrays. A deeply humane and morally important work . . . I read it with tremendous admiration for the author's honesty and courage."--Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace

"Wynn takes us inside Rikers and then out again, following the lives of officers and, her particular interest, prisoners. A valuable look at a place I've wondered about for years."--Ted Conover, author of Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing

"An astonishing and gripping account of the prison life and beyond that you have never seen or heard before."--Steven Donziger, author of The Real War on Crime

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About the Author

Jennifer Wynn

Jennifer Wynn, director of the Prison Visiting Project for the Correctional Association of New York, teaches writing at Rikers and is editor of Rikers Review, a magazine written by and for inmates. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Jennifer Wynn

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Available Formats and Book Details

Inside Rikers
Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony
Jennifer Wynn

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
July 2002
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429937603
ISBN10: 1429937602
256 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
July 2002
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312291587
ISBN10: 0312291582
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$16.99
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