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Inside Rikers: Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony
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Inside Rikers: Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  134 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
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 chr
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 24th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2001)
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Feb 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book made me sad deep down in my soul.

Even though the author tried to end it on a positive slant, all I could wonder is if the penal and judiciary systems of this country can ever be reformed in a way that will benefit society as a whole. I believe that putative measures absolutely have their place in our penal system. I also believe putative measures wholly fail on their own and must be buttressed with preventative measures. A convict coming out of prison who hasn’t been reformed ben
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Interesting look inside Rikers Island. My enjoyment of the book was curtailed by the author's poor ethical boundaries with current and former inmates/clients, i.e. inviting them to her apartment and blurring the lines between counseling and advocacy with social interactions.
Melody Giannullo
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book had zero typos. Life is full of surprises.
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
*wants to smack head repeatedly on wall*

I'm always shocked and amazed at the amount of money we are willing to spend on jails and prisons, but not on schools or drug rehab programs. Why do we not have as much focus on mental rehab facilities when it is generally know that the majority of offenders suffer from some form of mental or drug problems?
Why in the world is Rikers supporting the KEEP program which is really just making prisoners even more dependant on heroin? Our prison systems are j
Ellis Amdur
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Jennifer Wynn entered Riker’s Island as a journalist, as a writing teacher, and then as the director of a wonderful rehabilitation program called Fresh Start.  Wynn is a woman who sees the good in the hearts of some hard-core criminals.  At the same time, she is a clear-eyed realist on how hard it is to leave the criminal lifestyle – outlining all the obstacles that our society has placed in the way of the newly released inmate, and also the seductions of the criminal lifestyle itself.  For a ma ...more
Tammy Adams
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
I expected more and was very disappointed. The stories of the inmates alone would have been a much better book than the herky-jerky style with statistics etc thrown in. It was never able to get into a "flow" the makes reading a pleasure.
Jamie Rose
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Good but ultimately depressing. Its about prison! And not the nice cosy, PlayStation providing, Butlin's camps that masquerade as prisons in the UK. Real Scary Lock-you Up American prisons, where it seems there are not really any happy endings...
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains interesting historical and current facts about this famous correctional facility. The author presents very interesting and eye opening narratives.
Mar 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Disturbing. Eye opening.
Silja J.A.
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Apr 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
interesting look at prison life, and what happens after parole
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Mar 05, 2013
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Jul 30, 2011
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