New billboard in Gowanus aims to highlight conditions of Rikers Island
Rikers Island sits in the middle of the East River and has been highly criticized for the violence and conditions inside.
A billboard sits above Hamilton Place and 13th Street in Gowanus, sharing a message that says “WE ARE HERE” in bright red words, with an arrow pointing towards Rikers Island.
“Rikers Island, in addition to being one of the worst of the worst situations, everyone knows the people who work there don’t want to go there,” said Catherine Gund, a filmmaker and activist that partnered with “For Freedoms” to make this happen.
Gund hopes the billboard serves as a reminder that New Yorkers are not far removed from the chaos that advocates say go on at the complex.
The jail complex currently holds over 5,000 inmates, and six inmates have died in the facility just this year. Rikers Island is set to close by 2027.