I have been watching Law and Orders for many years. I was curious about Rikers Island. It isn't a place made up by the TV show.
Rikers Island is New York City's main jail complex, as well as the name of the 413.17-acre (1.672 km2) island on which it sits, in the East River La Guardia between Queens and the mainland Bronx, adjacent to the runways of LaGuardia Airport. The island itself is part of the borough of the Bronx, though it is included as part of Queens Community Board and has a Queens ZIP code New York City Department of Correction., has a budget of $860 million a year, a staff of 1,000 officers and 1,500 civilians to control an inmate population of 14,000. The official permanent population of the island, as reported by the United States Census Bureau , was 12,780 as of the 2000 census. The jail complex, operated by the
The island is thought to be named after Abraham Rycken a Dutch settler who moved to Long Island in 1638 and whose descendants owned Rikers Island until 1884, when it was sold to the city for $180,000. It has been used as a jail ever since.