Rikers Island opens new kid-friendly visitation room at the George R. Vierno Center

In May, a similar visitation room opened in the area housing women.

News 12 Staff

Jun 17, 2024, 11:41 AM

Updated 36 days ago


Rikers Island is opening a new kid-friendly visitation room Monday at the George R. Vierno Center, which houses male inmates.
The Children's Museum of Manhattan helped design the room with the goal to allow kids and grandkids to focus on imaginative play rather than the fact that they are inside a jail complex visiting their dad or grandfather.
The learning center is the second one that's been built at Rikers Island - the first one was built and opened just in time for Mother's Day at a women's facility on the island.
For families like mother Virdiana Lewis and her 6-year-old son Kean, changes like this that give Kean a chance to play with his dad mean the world.
"I don't get this often anymore," said Lewis. "He has been away for a little over two years now, so I'm just enjoying this moment. I love that they're enjoying each other's company."
The goal is to add one of these learning hubs into each of these Rikers Island facilities so that families and their children can visit and feel safe.

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