Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony
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About the author
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.
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.
St. Martin's Press
; July 2002
256 pages; ISBN 9781429937603
Download in secure EPUB
Title: Inside Rikers
Author: Jennifer Wynn
In the press
“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