— Raymond Yu
— Candie Hailey-Means
— Ralph Nuñez
— Rev. Hector "Benny" Custodio
— Kathy Morse
— Marcell Neal
Some are guilty. Some are innocent. Of the more than 7,500 people detained at Rikers Island on any given day, almost 80% have not yet been found guilty or innocent of the charges they face. All are at risk in the pervasive culture of violence that forces people to come to terms with what they must do for their own survival. RIKERS, a riveting new documentary from Bill Moyers, brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. Their stories, told direct to camera, vividly describe the cruel arc of the Rikers experience—from the shock of entry, to the extortion and control exercised by other inmates, the oppressive interaction with corrections officers, the beatings and stabbings, the torture of solitary confinement and the many challenges of returning to the outside world. Rikers Island is New York City’s largest jail. It has also been ranked as one of the ten worst jails in America. So, says journalist Bill Moyers, if you want to understand the country’s incarceration crisis, start at the island jail in New York’s East River—just across the water from the main runway at LaGuardia Airport and within sight of the Empire State Building.
No one understands the crisis created by mass incarceration and excessive punishment like the survivors who have endured the horrors created by our criminal justice policies. This is powerful journalism, transformational art and an unmistakable indictment of the American prison system. See this film!
ATTORNEY AND AUTHOR OF JUST MERCY
of detainees in NYC jails have not been convicted of a crime.
They are being held awaiting trial, sentencing or dismissal
PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR OF THE NEW JIM CROW
A beautiful, yet deeply disturbing, film. Very powerful. RIKERS shows a highly organized system of violence, where people are treated like they are less than human and leave detention more badly damaged than when they entered. How does this make us more safe?
of the detainees in NYC jails cannot afford to post bail at arraignment
of cases in NYC have bail set at $1,000 or less
I've visited two hundred correction facilities around the country and I can tell you, Rikers is every jail; and every jail is Rikers. I've never seen a film like this before—it is the raw truth of what it is like to be on Rikers Island. As someone who spent time on Rikers as a young person, I found that every single story rang true to me.
Glenn E. Martin
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, JUSTLEADERSHIPUSA
is the annual cost of incarceration for a detainee