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The Population in Prisons: Rikers Island

The demographic and socioeconomic factors that define the populations within prisons say a lot about our society. Racial and gender breakdowns within correctional institutions often correlate with other variables, such as poverty and education. You are going to examine Rikers Island Prison to see how prison populations relate to surrounding areas and other social variables.


  1. Look at the map of Rikers Island in New York City. The area outlined in yellow is the prison.
  2. You are going to run a report on the population in this prison facility. Click on the button at the top of the map.
  3. From the drop-down menu in the pop-up, select Comprehensive to run a comprehensive report on this area.
  4. Click OK to go make a point on the map.
  5. You will be returned to the map view. Click on the Rikers Island area to make a point.
  6. Select the Make Report link on the right-hand side of the map view. The report will generate automatically and open up a new window in your browser.
  7. Please answer the questions below.

This activity contains 3 questions.

Question 1.
The racial breakdowns in the prison are very different from the racial breakdowns in the areas close to the prison.

End of Question 1

Question 2.
What racial/ethnic group makes up the largest percentage of the population in Rikers Island Prison?

End of Question 2

Question 3.
Based on your findings in the report on the population in Rikers Island Prison, which of the following statements is true?

End of Question 3

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