Narrator: Nicole

Summary: Nicole grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She does development and policy work for Exodus Transitional Community, a re-entry organization in New York City. Many of her clients, as well as some of her friends and family, have experienced Rikers Island firsthand. She describes the dehumanization and disappearance that happens when someone arrives at Rikers: “Your everything disappears, your story, nothing seems to matter. And it’s very unique to Rikers … the inhumanity of the culture.” She argues for the abolition of technical violations, which send many people back to Rikers for low-level offenses or parole infractions. She will remember Rikers as “a part of New York City history where Black and Brown people were overly incarcerated, overly policed, and demeaned.” (Summary written by: Annie Anderson)

Interview Date: 5/8/2020

Partner Organization: LVN Community Conversation 1

Interviewer: Yule Adams

Tags: Close Rikers, reparations, impact on communities, personal history of incarceration, covid at Rikers, insufficient health services, prison facilities, poor living conditions, overcrowding, detainees’ neglect, psychological impact of incarceration, impact on communities, NYC policies, Correction officers, physical impact of incarceration, Rikers culture, network of support, social interactions in prison, coping mechanisms, officers’ abuse, visitation process, violence in prison, anxiety / stress, violence normalization, re-entry, re-incarceration, impact on outside relationships, police abuse, housing 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