Visiting Loved Ones on Rikers Island: Easier Said Than Done Visiting Rikers Island: Seperation and Heartbreak for Families of Loved ones Caged on the Notorious Jail Complex
Lotosha Rainey and her children China, 1, and Derrick Jr., 3, wait to board the Q100 bus after attempting to visit their father and husband, Derrick Sr., who is detained at the GRVC on Rikers Island on December 4, 2015. When they arrived they were told that Lotosha has been put on a RESTRICTED VISITORS list for 90 days. Lotosha had no idea she had been restricted from visiting her loved one. She recalls and incident over Thanksgiving weekend when she attempted to visit Derrick Sr., and was scolded by the Visit Center Captain because she had dallied in the ladies restroom. She believes she has been banned for 90 days, prohibiting her or her children from vising over the Christmas Holiday because of this incident. She plans on appealing her penalization.
Currently the process that family and loved ones must undertake to travel to Rikers Island, be screened, searched and investigated before visiting their loved ones detained or incarcerated there is arduous, extensive, elongated, inhumane and abusive. The Department of Correction has proposed rule changes to the DOC charter that will make visiting more difficult and intrusive for family and loved ones of those housed on the jail island complex in the East River.
Often people are denied visits for arbitrary reasons, aren't given proper guidelines to follow and are abused, groped, harassed and disparaged by some of the corrections officers manning the visit houses and posts on Rikers Island. The DOC has proposed changes to visiting which would: require mandatory NSA back-ground checks, prohibit children older than 14 from hugging their parents throughout the visit et al. VIsitors to Rikers Island must take the MTA bus over the only bridge to the island that is home to the jail complex where pre-trial detainees too poor to afford bail go to await trial in New York City.
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