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

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9780312291587: Inside Rikers: Stories from the World's Largest Penal Colony

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.

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Review:

Rikers Island penal colony is a world unto itself, with its own power plant, schools, hospital, even a tailor. But the 16,000 people forced to live there, unlike free worlders, are "usually known by their single worst deed." So writes Jennifer Wynn, who has spent the last decade getting beyond those deeds and helping inmates turn their untapped talents into new lives. Wynn first entered Rikers Island as a reporter, returned to teach in a rehabilitation program called Fresh Start, and ultimately became the program's director. Though she has left journalism as a career, this powerful debut puts her in the best tradition of activist journalism. Unlike most criminologists, she understands that the best way to make a point is to show rather than tell. By interlacing statistics with moving stories of Rikers' inmates, she makes clear the arguments for prison--and social--reform.

Though compassionate, Wynn is also a realist who takes a measured approach to the challenges confronted by both inmates and correctional workers. She shares success stories--say, the guy who had been in and out of Rikers for eight years, but finally, with the help of Fresh Start, graduated from the New York Restaurant School--but she is also forthright about the failures. Two questions resound: How can New York City, home to some of the sharpest business minds in the country, spend $860 million a year on inmates and have 75 percent of them return to prison after release? On the flip side, one of her "failures" asks, "I live in the best ... country in the world and I keep asking myself, Why can't I make it?" Wynn is persuasive when she discusses why incarceration increases crime and deepens dependency, how income inequality affects crime, and why--the most bitter irony of all--for many inmates, living on the outside is even harder than jail. This humane examination of America's greatest social problem redefines what it is to be a free worlder and holds a torch to those who make their lives--whether by choice or by law--within its jails. --Lesley Reed

About the Author:

Jennifer Wynn is the director of the Prison Visiting Project at the Correctional Association of New York, the oldest criminal justice agency in New York City, and editor of the Rikers Review for the Osborne Association. She has visited over thirty state prisons and interviewed hundreds of prisoners―in solitary confinement, in prison yards, and in mess halls. She lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York, and is a doctoral candidate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780312291587

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Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312291587

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Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312291587

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Book Description St. Martin's Griffin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 240 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 5.9in. x 0.7in.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 couldnt 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. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312291587

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