A teen's horrifying tale of solitary confinement at Rikers
Center for Investigative Reporting
Every year, thousands of teens are held in solitary confinement in jails, prisons and juvenile halls nationwide. This is the story of Ismael “Izzy” Nazario and the time he spent in solitary confinement in New York City’s Rikers Island jail. Izzy’s dialogue is taken from transcriptions of audio recordings from several interviews.
There are currently thousands of kids in solitary confinement nationwide. New York state prisons recently agreed to ban solitary confinement as punishment for inmates younger than eighteen. But this doesn't apply to Rikers Island and other New York jails.
The New York City Department of Correction declined interview requests and would not let the Center for Investigative Reporting visit the box.
Izzy is now a case manager for teens and adults coming out of Rikers Island.
Reported by Daffodil Altan and Trey Bundy, and illustrated and designed by Anna Vignet. Senior multimedia producer: Michael Schiller