Paperback / softback
January 3, 2019
9781421427355
English
200
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.55 Pounds (US)
.55 Pounds (US)
$26.95 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
February 8, 2019
9781421427362
9781421427355
English
200
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$26.95 USD, £20.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Life and Death in Rikers Island

Kalief Browder was 16 when he was arrested in the Bronx for allegedly stealing a backpack. Unable to raise bail and unwilling to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit, Browder spent three years in New York's infamous Rikers Island jail—two in solitary confinement—while awaiting trial. After his case was dismissed in 2013, Browder returned to his family, haunted by his ordeal. Suffering through the lonely hell of solitary, Browder had been violently attacked by fellow prisoners and corrections officers throughout his incarceration. Consumed with depression, Browder committed suicide in 2015. He was just 22 years old.

In Life and Death in Rikers Island, Homer Venters, the former chief medical officer for New York City's jails, explains the profound health risks associated with incarceration. From neglect and sexual abuse to blocked access to care and exposure to brutality, Venters details how jails are designed and run to create new health risks for prisoners—all while forcing doctors and nurses into complicity or silence.

Pairing prisoner experiences with cutting-edge research into prison risk, Venters reveals the disproportionate extent to which the health risks of jail are meted out to those with behavioral health problems and people of color. He also presents compelling data on alternative strategies that can reduce health risks. This revelatory and groundbreaking book concludes with the author's analysis of the case for closing Rikers Island jails and his advice on how to do it for the good of the incarcerated.

About the Author

Homer Venters is the former chief medical officer and assistant commissioner of Correctional Health Services for the NYC Health and Hospital System. He is currently the senior health and justice fellow at Community Oriented Correctional Health Services and an associate professor at New York University's College of Global Public Health.

Reviews

"Reporters have virtually no access to the jails on Rikers Island, but, for many years, Venters had a rare vantage point from which to observe its inner workings . . . He left the city's jail-health service in 2017, and now he has written a crucially important book, Life and Death in Rikers Island, in which he examines one of the most overlooked aspects of mass incarceration: the health risks of being locked up . . . Venters reveals the true human cost of these colossal management failures."—Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker

"Venters is a role model for using data as a tool for both epidemiology and human rights. In his book, he describes rigorous case reviews and epidemiological studies that demonstrate causes of harm . . . Venters's book impressively demonstrates that too little has been done at Rikers to prevent suffering, violence, and death."—Hans Wolff MD, MPH, and Robert Greifinger MD, American Journal of Public Health

"The story of Dr. Venters's experience, the approaches he has taken, and his outlook on the problem of health care in the setting of mass incarceration provides a perspective that is desperately needed."—Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH, Director, The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights

"Life and Death in Rikers Island and its eye-opening analysis of the health risks of incarceration draw a powerful conclusion: in a just, fair, and democratic society, we have a moral obligation to care about the culture and justice of correctional institutions."—Preet Bharara, former US Attorney, Southern District of New York; Distinguished Scholar in Residence, New York University School of Law

"This accessible book compiles and rewrites in engaging form the impressive, innovative, and path-breaking body of research Dr. Venters and his colleagues have conducted concerning key medical and human rights issues in prisons."—Leonard S. Rubenstein, Center for Human Rights and Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"Homer Venter's prescient Life and Death in Rikers Island explains why improving carceral health is important and deserving of more attention. In the COVID-19 era, this argument gains even greater significance . . . The book is also a searing exposé that powerfully illustrates the health risks of incarceration in New York City, as well as those risks that lead to incarceration in the first place . . . This book will be of interest to readers who follow health, medicine, and the carceral system, as well as activists and policy makers working to improve conditions for incarcerated people."—Ezelle Sanford III, The Gotham Center for New York City History

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9781421427355 : life-and-death-in-rikers-island-venters
Paperback / softback
200 Pages
$26.95 USD
9781421427362 : life-and-death-in-rikers-island-venters
Electronic book text
200 Pages
$26.95 USD

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