This film from Bill Moyers is the first documentary to focus exclusively on people formerly detained in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island Jail and give them the opportunity to tell their compelling stories, direct to camera. The film captures their vivid memories, revealing the violent arc of the Rikers experience. It is a true portrait of the upside down reality that is Rikers.
Bill Moyers explores the costs, concerns and benefits of closing Rikers Island Jail and the proposed new vision for NYC criminal justice with experts: Johnny Perez, Dir of U.S. Prison Program, Nat’l Religious Campaign Against Torture; Michael Jacobson, Fmr NYC Corrections Commissioner now Dir, CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance; and Stanley Richards, EVP the Fortune Society.
This film from Bill Moyers is the first documentary to focus exclusively on people formerly detained in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island Jail. They tell their compelling stories direct to the camera, revealing the violent arc of the Rikers experience – from the trauma of entry to extortion and control by inmates, to oppressive corrections officers, violence and solitary confinement.
Bill Moyers reflects on the notorious record of Rikers Island Jail and the critical factors including investigative journalism, civic activism and political leadership that has resulted now in a growing consensus to close the jail.
As the Mayor and Governor call for closing Rikers Island Jail, Bill Moyers returns with this powerhouse of a documentary that has been at the center of debate. Stay tuned for a followup conversation about what it will take to close this notorious jail.
Bill Moyers and his colleagues add another dimension to the media coverage of Rikers jail — ranked among the country’s ten worst jails — by listening to some of the people who were incarcerated there tell their stories. The documentary is told solely from the perspective of former detainees. Moyers warns, “Some of the scenes are shocking. Some of the language is raw. But this is Rikers.”