Lockdown on Rikers

Shocking Stories of Abuse and Injustice at New York's Notorious Jail by Mary E. Buser

  • Published: Sep 24, 2020

Mary Buser began her career at Rikers Island as a social work intern, brimming with ideas and eager to help incarcerated women find a better path. Her reassignment to a men's jail coincided with the dawn of the city's "stop-and-frisk"... read more

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Details of Lockdown on Rikers

Exact title of the book
Lockdown on Rikers
Book author
Mary E. Buser
ISBN
9781466890169
Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published
Sep 29, 2015
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
File size (in PDF)
2592 kB

Some brief overview of book

Mary Buser began her career at Rikers Island as a social work intern, brimming with ideas and eager to help incarcerated women find a better path. Her reassignment to a men's jail coincided with the dawn of the city's "stop-and-frisk" policy, a flood of unprecedented arrests, and the biggest jailhouse build-up in New York City history. Committed to the possibility of growth for the scarred and tattooed masses who filed into her session booth, Buser was suddenly faced with black eyes, punched-out teeth, and frantic whispers of beatings by officers.

Recognizing the greater danger of pointing a finger at one's captors, Buser attempted to help them, while also keeping them as well as herself, safe. Following her promotion to assistant chief, she was transferred to different jails, working in the Mental Health Center, and finally, at Rikers's notorious "jail within jail," the dreaded solitary confinement unit, where she saw horrors she'd never imagined. Finally, it became too much to bear, forcing Buser to flee Rikers and never look back - until now.

Lockdown on Rikers shines a light into the deepest and most horrific recesses of the criminal justice system, and shows how far it has really drifted from the ideals we espouse.

About author

BUSER worked as the Assistant Unit Chief in the Mental Health Department on Rikers Island from 1995 to 2000. She co-founded the Samaritans of New York suicide prevention hotline, which she directed from 1984 to 1990. She is an outspoken advocate against the inhumane treatment of inmates, especially those in solitary confinement.

She has been published in The Washington Post and featured in The New York Times and the NY Daily News. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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