Rikers Island facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsRikers Island
The island and prison in 2004
|Location||The Bronx, New York City|
|Nearest city||New York City|
|Area||413.17 acres (167.20 ha)|
|Governing body||New York City Department of Correction|
Rikers Island is a 413.17-acre (167.20-hectare) island in the East River between Queens and the Bronx that is home to New York City's main jail complex. Named after Abraham Rycken, who took possession of the island in 1664, the island was originally under 100 acres (40 ha) in size, but has since grown to more than 400 acres (160 ha). The first stages of expansion were accomplished largely by convict labor hauling in ashes for landfill. The island is politically part of the Bronx, although bridge access is from Queens. It is part of Queens Community Board 1 and uses an East Elmhurst, Queens, ZIP Code of 11370 for mail.
The island is home to one of the world's largest correctional institutions and mental institutions, and has been described as New York's most famous jail. The complex, operated by the New York City Department of Correction, has a budget of $860 million a year, a staff of 9,000 officers and 1,500 civilians managing 100,000 admissions per year and an average daily population of 10,000 inmates. The majority (85%) of detainees are pretrial defendants, either held on bail or remanded in custody. The rest of the population have been convicted and are serving short sentences. According to a 2015 study by the Vera Institute of Justice, it costs the city approximately $209,000 to detain one person for one year at Rikers Island.
Rikers Island Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.