Beth Schwartzapfel is a staff writer. Her reporting on the criminal justice system has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Mother Jones. She won the June 2014 Sidney Award, the 2016 James Aronson Award, and the 2016 John Jay College/H.F. Guggenheim Prize for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting, for which she was also runner up in 2014 and 2015. In 2019, a story she co-reported about homeless sex offenders was nominated for a National Magazine Award.
Rikers Island has been notorious for violence and neglect for decades. But detainees, corrections officers and officials tell us the New York City jail complex has plunged into a new state of emergency.