Want to learn about the Rikers Island?
If you or someone you know will be spending some time locked up at Rikers Island, you might be wondering what to expect. This jail is often depicted in the popular drama "Law and Order," but it can be hard to tell what is accurate on a television show.
To give you a real glimpse inside this facility, we have interviewed former inmates, who have shared their experiences, ranging from their court experiences, to what the food is like, and everything in-between. You can access these interviews by clicking the links to the left. Take a few minutes to read their stories, so you can learn what life is really like for those locked up in Rikers Island.
To deal with issues of overcrowding, many jails routinely release inmates before they have completed their full sentence. Rikers Island is one of the jails that do this. Inmates in this facility normally serve only 2/3 of their time. This is automatically calculated by the jail when they are first booked, and only inmates who cause significant problems during their stay normally lose this time off.
To make sure you get out as early as possible, you should avoid fighting, smoking, and possessing contraband. In general, stick to the jail rules and you should be able to get your time off with no problem.
Keeping in touch with family and friends on the outside is a high priority for most people who are serving time. Rikers Island provides phones to inmates. They can either use money on their jail account, or call collect. One individual reported that each inmate got two free calls per week.
To dial out using a jail account, the inmate dials their booking and case number before making the call. It is pretty typical for an inmate having money on their books to be harassed by those who don't to let them make a phone call. Approximate cost of phone calls is about $1 for 15 minutes. This is a very reasonable amount compared to other jails. Calls are monitored by the jail on a regular basis.
Continue to the interview