Amid growing criticism from relatives of inmates and jail reformers, including the U.S. Department of Justice, which recently reported on a “deep-seated culture of violence” at Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that will track and limit the use of solitary confinement at the correctional facility.
This piece, a collaboration between New York Magazine and The Marshall Project, tells the story of Rikers Island through the words and experiences of the people who are held there, work there or visit the jail often. It is simple in its premise — let’s ask the people of Rikers — and outstanding in its execution. I came away conflicted because the story did what great stories do: It made me see Rikers from all perspectives. — Fernanda Santos, Phoenix Bureau Chief