Narrator: Gregory Pierce

Summary: Gregory Pierce grew up in Newark, New Jersey. He served time at Rikers in 1984 and again in 2016. “Rikers is like being in hell,” Pierce remembers. He found most guards to be careless and disrespectful, including one who sent two members of the Bloods gang to beat him up. Having served 21 years in prison, he shares hopes for his post-incarceration life, including finishing a book of poetry and becoming a recovery coach. (Summary written by: Annie Anderson)

Interview Date: 5/22/2020

Partner Organization: LVN Community Conversation 3

Interviewer: Tamika Graham

Tags: emotional impact of visitation, personal history of incarceration, Covid at Rikers, overcrowding, insufficient health services, detainees neglect, correctional officers, officers. abuse, violence in prison, impact on communities, defense mechanisms, NYC policies, physical impact of incarceration, history of Rikers, gangs, Bloods, Crips, threats and fears, close Rikers, coping mechanisms, impact on outside relationships, reparations, intake, first impressions, psychological impact of incarceration, officers’ accountability, working after Rikers, Rikers Island, Incarceration, Prison abolition, New York City, Oral history, Rikers Public Memory Project, RPMP

To read the transcript of this interview, click here