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"Seeing how socioeconomic inequality, the aftershocks of lingering racism and shortsighted corrections policies play out in these men's lives gives this book emotional power and political relevance, particularly at a time when the penal system is lurching ever more toward punitive warehousing at the expense of rehabilitation . . . Wynn demonstrates, time and again, how the taint of a jail term forever dooms these men to be defined by their 'single worst deed' and to be sucked into a sadly preventable vortex of recidivism . . . [Their stories] stand as eloquent and damning testimonies to the cycle of jails and lives gone avoidably wrong and our inability to break it."—The New York Times Book Review
"Jennifer Wynn has written an insightful and moving account of the immense daily struggles faced by inmates passing through the New York City jail system. Their stories, failures, and all-too-rare successes put a human face on a population that has been largely ignored or demonized by politicians. It is an important book and a significant contribution to the literature on prisons and prisoners."—Michael Jacobson, former Commissioner, New York City Department of Correction
"Inside Rikers is an astonishing and gripping account of the prison life and beyond, one that you have never seen or heard before. Only someone of Jennifer Wynn's talent and compassion could get so many men hardened by the brutal prison experience to open up and spill their guts about the underbelly of American life. The portraits that emerge enrage, sicken, inspire, and ultimately uplift. They are life's lessons, and they are not to be missed."—Steven Donziger, editor, The Real War on Crime, and former director of the National Criminal Justice Commission
"A clearheaded, realistic examination of life inside a place about which most of us know next to nothing and probably would be hard-pressed even to imagine."—The Washington Post
"Jennifer Wynn, book-smart and street-smart, is a great guide to this island of exiles, located right under our noses and yet so invisible to most. She takes us inside Rikers and then out again, following the lives of officers and, her particular interest, prisoners. A valuable look at a place I've wondered about for years."—Ted Conover, author of Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing
"A complex, thoughtful analysis . . . Wynn's study is ultimately a call for much-needed prison reform, with emphasis on rehabilitation rather than mere incarceration, and she makes her case well."—Kristine Huntley, Booklist
"The book clearly shows that rather than infusing communities and prisons themselves with energy and, more importantly, funding to support potentially constructive and reformative resources, American society prefers a 'make disappear' approach to criminal behavior."—Suzanne W. Wood, Library Journal
"A penetrating exploration of inmates' lives in New York's vast penal colony . . . Unusually stirring."—Publishers Weekly
|1||Welcome to the Rock||1|
|2||From the Belly of the Beast to the New York Streets||32|
|3||Keepers of the Kept||78|
|4||Convicted at Birth||108|
|6||They Keep Coming Back||169|
|7||Strain of Two Cities||188|
Posted February 27, 2013
Posted January 8, 2008
This is an excellent choice for anyone interested in the criminal justice system. It is an honest account of how one program attempts to rehabilitate the inmates and the difficulties they face.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2006
I wanted to here about the RED EYES STORY A.K.A MALIKWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2006
I picked up this book hoping that it chronicled, 'As it's cover implies', life inside Rikers. I wanted an inmates perspective on the daily struggles of being in prison dealing with other inmates, guards, food, etc. The book is actually filled with stories about a program to help prisoners once they are outside of the prison. The book isn't even mostly these stories. It mostly tries to persuade the reader that incarceration does not work and that the system is biased. I have no problem with that theme but this is not what the book claims to be about. This is seen in the first chapter entitled 'Welcome to the Rock', the reader only learns that Rikers is expensive and house minorities. This book was very disappointingWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2006
Wynn tells the story of those caught up in the drug, poverty, and crime cycle. I liked her compassionate insight. The book made me want to take action. I wish the author had offered some suggestions for steps a lay person could take. I appreciated the comprehensive bibliography included at the end of the book. This is a good book for anyone interested in prison reformWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2005
As a first-year social work student, I read 'Inside Rikers' before my first day interning in 'jail'. It is a must-read, for anyone interested in the criminal justice system and how far too often, the justice part is left out. I have heard similar stories, some better and some worse, as the ones in the book. I remain fascinated and dismayed by it's contents and what I've seen first hand over the last 9 months.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 16, 2004
Wynn has turned her experiences as a prison teacher into sociology and psychology lessons for everyone. Her valuable and relevant observations about the criminal justice system, and this particular lock-up, speak for and incorporate the voices of the incarcerated.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2003
Posted November 23, 2012
No text was provided for this review.