Rikers Island has been the scene of constant human tragedy over the years, and those stories affect us personally.

However, New Yorkers should also know the awful statistics behind this jail complex.



Detaining a person at Rikers Island for a year costs the City (i.e., taxpayers) $167,000 per year.

A fraction of those resources could turn a person’s life around and help build communities in low-income parts of the city.
Source: NYC Independent Budget Office, 2013.




93% of Rikers Island detainees are black or Hispanic.

By comparison, 53% of New York City residents are black or Hispanic.
Source: Community States for Rikers Island





85% of those detained are awaiting trial.

These are people stuck in our jails because they are too poor to make bail. The remaining detainees are serving sentences of less than a year.
Source: New York Times, “What is happening at Rikers Island,”



77,000 New Yorkers cycled through Rikers in 2015, a figure actually down from previous years.

Put another way, Rikers admits an average of 211 detainees per day.
Source: New York Times, “What is happening at Rikers Island”


There are currently more than 10,000 New Yorkers in Department of Correction custody.

Approximately 8,000 of these are in Rikers Island facilities.
Source: Department of Corrections


Violence by the DOC staff against detainees rose every year from 2008 to 2014.

Despite a smaller detainee population and more correction officers, violence continues to plague Rikers.
Source: Source: Comptroller Scott Stringer


“Reforms” are not working – it is time to #CLOSErikers.