New York State has several county jails. We provide interviews from people who have actually spent time in the jails.

Rikers Island is one of the largest jail systems in the country. The island itself has over 11,000 people living on it - most of those people are inmates on the 400-acre island.

There are other large counties in New York - these include King County, Queens County, New York County, Suffolk County, Nassau County, Bronx County and more. is your resource for information on the various county jails across New York.

Incarceration rates in New York State
A lot of people erroneously assume that because of the large population in New York (as well as the amount of crime depicted in New York City on television) that they must have an above-average incarceration rate. Actually, though, at about 355 inmates per 100,000 people the state is squarely middle-of-the-road compared to other states in the US.

As far as county jails go, New York's jails are a bit rougher than facilities you are going to find in other parts of the country. The two contributing factors to this are that you have a lot more racial diversity (racial tension tends to be worse behind bars) and the average jail size is much larger in New York to accommodate the large population the jail must serve.

If you or somebody you know is spending time in a New York County Jail, you should do your research so you know what to expect. You can find interviews from former inmates that explain how phones work, when inmates can receive visitors, what entertainment options are available, what meals are generally served in jail and more.

New York Jails