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Whether a love one is being held there or you need to visit for various other reasons, a expedition to Rikers Island absolutely isn’t a day in ~ the nation club. The island itself totals about 400 acres, and also the assorted prison complexes situated there take up much of this land. More than 13,000 inmates and also detainees speak to the place home on any type of given day, and they receive up come 1,500 travellers on every visiting day. Expect crowds, some waiting and some less-than-pleasant problems depending on once you visit.

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How to obtain there

There’s just one method on and also off Rikers Island: the Rikers Island Bridge. This helps to save the prison secure, however it can also give travellers fits. The new York City department of mediate recommends the you take it the bus come Rikers: the Q101 from Manhattan, i beg your pardon delivers you straight to the Rikers Island entrance at Hazen Street and also 19th way in Queens. From there, carry to the Q100 line, which takes you over the leg to the Visit Center.

If you’re established to journey instead, anticipate having actually to hunt – and also hunt hard – for a parking space. Parking is very limited. Take it the Triboro leg from the Bronx or Manhattan to Queens. If you’re starting out native Brooklyn or Staten Island, take it the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. In either case, exit at Astoria Boulevard.


Stay alert in ~ that suggest because the route you have to travel has actually a couple of twists and turns that come increase at quick intervals. Be afflicted with left top top Astoria Boulevard to accessibility 23rd Avenue, then hang a left ~ above 82nd Street and a best on 81st Street, which i do not care 19th Avenue. Turn ideal again in ~ the very first traffic light. This puts friend on Hazen Street, where the Rikers parking many is located. You’ll still require to catch the Q100 bus from there to obtain from the parking lot to the Visit Center.

When to visit

You deserve to visit Rikers five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday. There are no visiting hours on Mondays or Tuesdays.

That’s the straightforward part. Brand-new York City to adjust a visiting schedule for inmates and detainees, for this reason you can not just present up at any kind of time on a visiting day and also expect to watch who you want to see. Check the city’s website because that the schedule to discover out as soon as your love one is permitted to get visitors. The schedule is based upon the first letter that his last name, and it can change monthly. You can usually acquire the schedule ~ above the website because that the existing month and a month in advance.

Visiting hours are from 1 come 9 p.m. Top top Wednesdays and also Thursdays and also from 8 a.m. Till 4 p.m. ~ above Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, however you have the right to expect occasional delays relying on what’s going on at the prison the day.

Security issues and rules

Go an initial to the Registration center to check in. You must register prior to 8 p.m. On Wednesdays and also Thursdays and also between 7 a.m. And also 2 p.m. ~ above Fridays, Saturdays and also Sundays. Inmates are limited to one visit per day.

You need to pass v a “passive” canine search after did you do it registered; in various other words, a dog will sniff roughly your body for hints of contraband. Carry out current to know that has both a photo and also your signature. A driver’s license, employer ID map or nondriver’s license ID will certainly suffice if it has both. Otherwise, a passport is acceptable, as well as a Medicare or Food rubber stamp ID because that the state of new York, a U.S. Armed Services id Card, a resident extraterrestrial or permanent resident ID map issued through the U.S. Department of Justice, a diplomatic or consulate-issued i would or one IDNYC card. Youngsters under the age of 16 execute not need ID if they’re accompanied by an adult over period 18. A visitor who is 16 or 17 may accompany a minor who is the child of both the visitor and also the inmate. In this case, a birth certificate is compelled to prove it.

Seasonal considerations

Keep in mind that this is one old, somewhat decrepit facility. Yes, there’s waiting conditioning and also heat – at least in visiting areas – but the prison is well-known to end up being uncomfortably warm in the summer and frigid in the winter because it’s built mostly of concrete and steel. Everything the weather is external tends to acquire trapped inside, leading to temperature extremes even indoors. Dress lightly if you visit during summer, and also wear a sweater if the wintertime.

Remember, there’s just that one bridge on and also off the island. The been well-known to come to be impassable in snowy conditions. Flooding of the framework is usual in any kind of heavy rain- or snowstorm.

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Then yes sir the smell

The framework on Rikers Island are constructed over a gigantic landfill. Initially, the island consisted of only 87 acres, which merely wasn’t sufficient room. The problem was rectified by broadening it with an ext than 300 acres of ash and also garbage. Rubbish smells. It produces methane gas together it decomposes. Be prepared to organize your nose against the aroma that’s apparently reminiscent the rotting eggs. It’s much more pervasive on part days 보다 others.