Narrator: Angel Tueros

Summary: Angel Tueros was born in New York City and grew up in the Dominican Republic. During his yearlong incarceration at Rikers Island, he affiliated with the Ñetas gang. To pass the time, he played soccer and dominoes. He describes the difficulties he faced as a Spanish-speaking detainee. He eventually taught himself English while incarcerated by using a Spanish-English dictionary. He felt relieved to leave Rikers when he was sentenced to state prison. Once upstate, he severed his gang ties and pursued his education. Over the course of 24 years in prison, he earned his GED and then a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from the Bard Prison Initiative. (Summary written by: Annie Anderson)

Interview Date: 1/29/20

Partner Organization: JLUSA

Interviewer: Anna Van Dine

Tags: intake, violence in prison, medical evaluations at Rikers, first impressions, turtle squad, prison facilities, gangs, Añetas, network of support, officers’ abuse, defense mechanisms, social interactions in prison, correction officers, officers’ accountability, poor living conditions, going to court, last-day, NYC policies, psychological impact of incarceration, impact on outside relationships, impact on communities, Spanish, language barriers, visitation process, emotional impact of visitation, close Rikers, reparations, Rikers Island, Incarceration, Prison abolition, New York City, Oral history, Rikers Public Memory Project, RPMP

To read the transcript of this interview, click here