Rikers Island Prison Complex
I am ashamed to say I have only been to Rikers Island once… Friday December 11, 2009. Thankfully not as an inmate, but for a counsel visit to discuss a case with one of my clients. Numerous clients of mine are awaiting trial at the correctional facility. I must say, it is quite sad that I have – in the past two years that I’ve been doing this work – always avoided the hassle of traveling to that piece of the Bronx, only accessible through Queens.
I recently bought a really old car and upon learning that I could drive it onto Rikers Island property, hurried my paperwork so I could drive onto “the island” (as my clients call it). When crossing the Rikers Island bridge, I noticed distraught faces getting dropped off by cabs and waiting on the Q100 bus. After I received a placard to park, I made my way across a narrow long bridge. The various facilities slowly appeared in the horizon. After parking, I noticed visitors carrying suits, books, food even for their incarcerated loved ones. Their faces seemed damp with disappointment, some hopeful, some in despair, all wrapped in love. This was perhaps the most beautiful part of my Rikers Island Prison Complex experience – seeing the love in people’s eyes as they made their way to visit their incarcerated loved ones.
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