Narrator: Lorenzo McLucas

Summary: Lorenzo McLucas is from Newark, New Jersey. He moved to New York City in 2014 with dreams of becoming a journalist. He was incarcerated for a parole violation at Rikers, on the jail barge nicknamed “The Boat,” when COVID-19 first hit the facility in early 2020. He describes his anxieties about officers bringing the virus into the jail. As a chronically homeless person, McLucas also feared catching the virus if he had to move from Rikers to an equally unsanitary shelter. As a gender non-conforming person, he learned to defend himself from threats and to advocate for himself while incarcerated, including seeking treatment for his opioid addiction. While at Rikers, he participated in some of the services offered to people in his housing unit, including yoga, creative writing, and acting class. (Summary written by: Annie Anderson)

Interview Date: 06/10/20

Partner Organization: Exodus Transitional – Holiday Inn

Interviewer: Vinay Kumar Mysore

Tags: Rikers Island, Incarceration, Prison abolition, New York City, Oral history, Rikers Public Memory Project, RPMP, Covid at Rikers, Parole, Re-entry, Re-incarceration, First impressions, Network of support, Coping mechanisms, Going to court, Visitation Process, Detainees’ neglect, Housing after Rikers, Close Rikers, Prison facilities, Being released from Rikers, Getting arrested

To read the transcript of this interview, click here