Life and Death in Rikers Island

Past Event
Monday, Mar 11, 2019
5:30 PM — 8:00 PM
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnold Hall

Jails are dangerous and unhealthy places, where far too many people are needlessly and sometimes cruelly incarcerated—places where the risk of death and serious injury increases. As former chief medical officer of the New York City jail system, Dr. Homer Venters had unprecedented access and saw this first-hand. His new book, Life and Death in Rikers Island, uses a series of searing stories to disclose the dangers of being incarcerated—and the too-high likelihood of dying—in this notorious jail, as well as jail in general.

Please join the Vera Institute of Justice for a discussion of the book with Dr. Venters. Dr. Mary Bassett, former New York City commissioner of health and mental hygiene and current director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, will lead the discussion, which will also feature Rob DeLeon, assistant vice president of programs for Fortune Society, and Leah Pope, senior research fellow at Vera.

Learn about

  • the coming closure of Rikers Island Jail;
  • the need for transparency and accountability regarding deaths, injuries, and sexual assault in jail—Rikers as well as nationally;
  • the importance of a human rights framework in providing correctional health; and
  • the unaddressed racial disparities in solitary confinement and other health risks of jail.

Read more about the book in this New Yorker review.

Copies of Life and Death in Rikers Island, published by John Hopkins University Press, will be available for sale.