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Rikers High (2005)

A look at the students and teachers of 'Island Academy' the high school for inmates of Riker's Island. The largest correctional facility in North America.


Victor Buhler

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Credited cast:
Andre Blandon Andre Blandon ... Himself
Millie Grant Millie Grant ... Herself
John Hopson John Hopson ... Himself
Shawn Johnson Shawn Johnson ... Himself
Sara McCullah Sara McCullah ... Herself
Iris Ortiz Iris Ortiz ... Herself
Gustavo Rodríguez Gustavo Rodríguez ... Himself (as Gus Rodriguez)
William Santiago William Santiago ... Himself
Joseph Sprolling Joseph Sprolling ... Himself
Steven Torres Steven Torres ... Himself


'Rikers High' follows a year in the life of three boys studying in New York City's most extreme high school. Lessons, poetry workshops and varsity sports all take place behind eight rows of ribbon fence. There are 2000 juvenile offenders at the infamous Rikers Island Prison. The Academy's hope is that education will lessen the shocking rates of recidivism. A strikingly honest, raw account of a teenage struggle for redemption.

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France | USA



Release Date:

February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lykeio Rikers, i teleftaia efkairia See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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References Oz (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

A look at schooling within the New York State penal system.
20 September 2005 | by otto23_99See all my reviews

As a public school teacher since 1992, I watched this documentary with much interest. I wanted to see how the experiences of these 'captive' students and their teachers paralleled what I experience everyday, and I was also curious as to what types of skills the teachers would stress in their classrooms. Would they stress the 'three Rs'? Would they show the kids how to apply for jobs? I like documentaries as a whole, and I liked this one very much, because I could see how someone not in the field of education would be interested in the stories the filmmaker was presenting to them. I won't ruin the film for anyone who hasn't seen it, but suffice it to say that my eyes have been opened to the educational plight of kids in the legal system.

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