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Whether a loved one is being hosted there or you need to visit for various other reasons, a trip to Rikers Island definitely isn’t a day in ~ the nation club. The island chin totals around 400 acres, and also the miscellaneous prison complexes located there take up lot of this land. An ext than 13,000 inmates and also detainees speak to the place home on any type of given day, and also they receive up come 1,500 visitors on each visiting day. Suppose crowds, part waiting and some less-than-pleasant problems depending on when you visit.

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How to get there

There’s just one method on and also off Rikers Island: the Rikers Island Bridge. This help to keep the jail secure, however it can additionally give tourists fits. The brand-new York City room of mediate recommends that you take the bus come Rikers: the Q101 from Manhattan, i beg your pardon delivers you straight to the Rikers Island entrance in ~ Hazen Street and also 19th avenue in Queens. Indigenous there, carry to the Q100 line, i m sorry takes you over the bridge to the Visit Center.

If you’re established to drive instead, anticipate having to hunt – and also hunt hard – because that a parking space. Parking is extremely limited. Take it the Triboro leg from the Bronx or Manhattan to Queens. If you’re starting out indigenous Brooklyn or Staten Island, take it the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. In either case, leave at Astoria Boulevard.


Stay alert in ~ that allude because the route you should travel has actually a couple of twists and also turns that come increase at quick intervals. Be affected by each other left on Astoria Boulevard to access 23rd Avenue, then hang a left on 82nd Street and also a appropriate on 81st Street, which becomes 19th Avenue. Turn right again in ~ the first traffic light. This puts friend on Hazen Street, whereby the Rikers parking many is located. You will do it still need to catch the Q100 bus from over there to get from the parking lot to the Visit Center.

When come visit

You deserve to visit Rikers 5 days a week, Wednesday with Sunday. There room no visiting hrs on Mondays or Tuesdays.

That’s the simple part. Brand-new York City to adjust a visiting schedule for inmates and also detainees, so you can not just show up at any kind of time on a visiting day and also expect to check out who you desire to see. Inspect the city’s website because that the schedule to discover out once your loved one is allowed to obtain visitors. The schedule is based upon the very first letter that his last name, and it can readjust monthly. You can usually gain the schedule ~ above the website for the present month and also a month in advance.

Visiting hrs are native 1 come 9 p.m. Top top Wednesdays and also Thursdays and from 8 a.m. Until 4 p.m. ~ above Fridays, Saturdays and also Sundays, however you deserve to expect occasional delays depending upon what’s walking on in ~ the prison the day.

Security issues and rules

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

You must pass with a “passive” canine search after did you do it registered; in other words, a dog will sniff around your body for clues of contraband. Provide current to know that has both a photo and your signature. A driver’s license, employer ID map or nondriver’s license ID will suffice if it has actually both. Otherwise, a passport is acceptable, as well as a Medicare or Food rubber stamp ID because that the state of brand-new York, a U.S. Equipped Services id Card, a resident extraterrestrial or permanent resident ID map issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, a diplomatic or consulate-issued i would or one IDNYC card. Kids under the period of 16 perform not require ID if castle accompanied by one adult over period 18. A visitor that is 16 or 17 might accompany a minor that is the son of both the visitor and the inmate. In this case, a birth certificate is forced to prove it.

Seasonal considerations

Keep in mind the this is an old, somewhat decrepit facility. Yes, there’s wait conditioning and heat – at the very least in visiting areas – but the prison is well-known to end up being uncomfortably warm in the summer and also frigid in the winter because it’s constructed mostly the concrete and steel. Every little thing the weather is exterior tends to gain trapped inside, leading to temperature extremes also indoors. Dress lightly if you visit during summer, and also wear a sweater if it’s wintertime.

Remember, there’s only that one leg on and off the island. The been known to end up being impassable in snowy conditions. Flooding that the infrastructure is typical in any kind of heavy rain- or snowstorm.

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Then yes sir the smell

The infrastructure on Rikers Island are developed over a gigantic landfill. Initially, the island made up only 87 acres, which merely wasn’t enough room. The trouble was rectified by expanding it with an ext than 300 acre of ash and also garbage. Rubbish smells. It produces methane gas together it decomposes. Be all set to organize your nose versus the aroma that’s apparently reminiscent of rotting eggs. It’s more pervasive on some days 보다 others.