There is a major crisis along the United States of an over-populations within prisons and jails. America has more people incarcerated than any other nation in the world with over two million inmates a year. Rikers Island is one of the prisons that has an issues of mass incarceration with an 80% of victims in there who have not even been committed of a crime. These people are being held awaiting a trial, sentencing or dismissal. An average stay in jail is less than two months, but some in Rikers have waited two to six years. On a normal day, there are more than 7,500 people held in New York City’s Riker Island Jail. Which is known for its culture of violence. It was ranked among a survey of ten other prisons as being one of the most dangerous prisons within America. What is done to the people within is done in our name and with our tax dollars. This is about the stories who had made it across the bridge to the jail and made it back alive.
There are about 40% of detainees at Rikers that are diagnosed with a mental illness and do not receive the proper care that the need in the jail or prison. One incident that occurred was instead of helping the man who need help, the officer pulled down his pants and peed on him instead. As most know, in jails and prisons it is mainly gang affiliated. The setup called the “program” where two to three, four inmates ran the “house.” The program was defined as “you’re going to do what we tell you to do when we tell you to do it. Or we are going to beat your ass and you’re out of here.” There was a chain of commands; the people who reign the housing being the two or one top people that is in control of everything that goes on inside. The response to violence in prisons and jails is more violence. Many of the stories told by the ones who had made it out alive came from a background violence, abandonment from their parents, getting abused growing up physically and emotionally, in and out of foster care, etc. Many incidents that happened within the prison no one reported it because Henning notes(2018). “many black boys would rather settle disputes on their own than initiate contact with the police, and norms against snitching are so strong within some black communities that black boys often refuse to commit crimes” Many officers in Rikers were giving drugs to inmates, making bets on particular fights, and raping inmates. They are no better than the people within the jail because they are committing the same crimes as those inside the jail but they are not getting caught or the charges as they should get.
This is a documentary that everyone should watch so they understand what truly goes on behind the bars within a prison and jail. All that the people know in there is violence, it is worse than being on the streets. It is mainly gang related the second you get in there. Jail is not any better than being on the streets, black individuals get treated the same way or ten times worse in prison than they would outside of jail.