Mary Buser Presents: Lockdown on Rikers: Shocking Stories of Abuse and Injustice at New York City’s Notorious Jail
Charles North | Website
This event occurred in the past.
By the late 2000’s, Rikers Island, New York City’s notorious jail complex in the East River, was making news, and for all the wrong reasons. Stories were leaking out of a hellish place where inmates were routinely beaten by guards, where the mentally ill languished in solitary confinement, and where callous indifference to human life was the everyday. Ordinarily, the public cared little about the masses that filled the Rikers jails. Out of sight, out of mind, all the better -- after all, they were criminals. But by 2014, even the most jaded and indifferent citizens couldn’t ignore the barrage of headlines -- one inmate, a mentally ill veteran, baked to death in an overheated cell, his cries for relief, ignored. His crime? Trespassing. Another sought to escape the torment of solitary confinement by swallowing a toxic soap ball. Instead of being pulled out of the cell and rushed to the clinic, he was left to die on the cement floor, his intestines burning away. What was going on behind these walls? Mary Buser’s memoir answers this question. Lockdown on Rikers: Shocking Stories of Abuse and Injustice at New York City’s Notorious Jail, (St. Martin’s Press, 9/2015) chronicles her five-year stint in the Rikers Island Mental Health Department. A timely story, Lockdown on Rikers offers a searing glimpse into the troubled jail complex, identifying the deeper, more insidious reasons for the brutality that has exploded onto the front pages.