14 Famous Prisoners of Rikers Island People

14 Famous Prisoners of Rikers Island

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List of Famous Prisoners at Rikers Island ranked by fame and notoriety. Rikers Island is New York City's main jail complex and has an inmate population of 12,300. Rikers Island is a jail, not a prison, which means that it holds offenders who are awaiting trial and do not have bail, individuals serving sentences less than a year and people that are pending transfer to another facility. Through the years Rikers Island has been host to many famous prisoners.

Who is the most famous prisoner at Rikers Island. Young Money rapper Lil Wayne tops our list. Weezy spent eight months at Rikers Island after pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. Another rap legend, Tupac Shakur spent a portion of his eight month jail sentence at Rikers Island. Pac was charged with sexual assault for holding a female fan down while another man sexually assaulted her. Shakur always denied involvement with the incident.

Sex Pistol's member Sid Vicious was sent to Rikers Island twice. The first time after his girlfriend Nancy Spungen was found dead from a stab wound in the Chelsea Hotel. Vicious was charged with murder and released on bail. He made his second trip to Rikers that same year after getting in a fight at a NYC nightclub. This time he spent seven weeks at Rikers and was found dead of a drug overdose the morning after his release.

Why do you think so many members of the music industry spend time at Rikers Island? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


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  1. Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are ...more

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    • Age: Died at 25 (1971-1996)
    • Birthplace: East Harlem, New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Record producer, Poet, Songwriter, Rapper, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: Juice, Above the Rim, Poetic Justice, Gridlock'd, Nothing but Trouble, + more
  2. Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, later named John Beverley, was an English bass guitarist, drummer and vocalist, most famous as a member of the influential punk group the Sex Pistols, and notorious for his arrest for the murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Vicious joined the Sex Pistols in early ...more

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    • Age: Died at 22 (1957-1979)
    • Birthplace: Lewisham, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Bassist, Songwriter, Musician, Composer, Singer
    • Credits: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, Mr. Mike's Mondo Video
  3. David Richard Berkowitz, also known as the Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, is an American serial killer convicted of a series of shooting attacks that began in New York City in the summer of 1976. Perpetrated with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver, he killed six victims and wounded seven others by ...more

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    • Age: age 62
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
  4. Mark David Chapman
    Photo: Freebase

    Mark David Chapman is an American prison inmate who pleaded guilty to murdering John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Chapman shot Lennon outside The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman fired at Lennon five times, hitting him four times in his back. Chapman remained at the scene reading J. D.more

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    • Age: age 60
    • Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America
  5. Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand, better known by her stage name Foxy Brown, is an American rapper, model, and actress. She is best known for her solo work, as well as numerous collaborations with other artists and her brief stint as part of hip hop group The Firm. Raised in Brooklyn, New York, her father ...more

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    • Age: age 37
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Rapper, Model, Artist
    • Credits: Fade to Black, AZ: Back Off: The Mini Movie, Smack: Vol. 2
  6. Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper, songwriter, and entrepreneur from New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1991, at the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo The B.G.'z, alongside fellow New ...more

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    • Age: age 33
    • Birthplace: Hollygrove, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Businessperson, Songwriter, Rapper, Entrepreneur, + more
    • Credits: The Smurfs 2, Hurricane Season, Who's Your Caddy?, Freaknik: The Musical, Baller Blockin', + more
  7. Theodore Walter "Sonny" Rollins is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Rollins is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. A number of his compositions, including "St. Thomas", "Oleo", "Doxy", and "Airegin", have become jazz standards.more

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    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
    • Profession: Saxophonist, Musician, Bandleader, Composer
    • Credits: Alfie, A Great Day in Harlem, Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus, Sonny Rollins: In Vienne, Jazz Icons: Sonny Rollins: Live in '65 & '68, + more
  8. Earl Simmons, better known by his stage names DMX and Dark Man X, is an American rapper and actor. In 1999, DMX released his best-selling album ...And Then There Was X, which featured the hit single "Party Up". He has acted in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 The Grave, and ...more

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    • Age: age 45
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Mount Vernon
    • Profession: Rapper, Film Producer, Actor
    • Credits: Exit Wounds, Never Die Alone, Belly, Romeo Must Die, Def Jam's How to Be a Player, + more
  9. Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn, often referred to in the media, and by himself, as DSK, is a French economist, lawyer, politician, and member of the French Socialist Party. Strauss-Kahn became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on 28 September 2007, with the backing of his ...more

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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: Île-de-France, Europe, Metropolitan France, France, Hauts-de-Seine, + more
    • Profession: Politician, Professor, Economist
  10. Plaxico Antonio Burress, is a former American football wide receiver. He was drafted by the Steelers eighth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft and later played for the New York Giants and the New York Jets before returning to the Steelers on November 21, 2012. He played college football at Michigan State.more

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    • Age: age 38
    • Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America
    • Profession: Athlete, American football player
  11. Peter Thomas Ratajczyk, better known by his stage name Peter Steele, was the lead singer, bassist, and composer for the gothic metal band Type O Negative. Before forming Type O Negative, he had created the metal group Fallout and the thrash band Carnivore. As the frontman for Type O Negative, Steele was ...more

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    • Age: Died at 48 (1962-2010)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Bassist, Songwriter, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer
    • Credits: Dirtbags: Armpit of Metal, Bad Acid, Tao of M, Death Metal: A Documentary, Metal Interviews: Grimoire Style
  12. Jayson Williams
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Jayson Williams is an American former professional basketball player. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. In 2010, Williams pled guilty to assault in the accidental shooting death of a limousine driver. He served an 18-month prison sentence ...more

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    • Age: age 47
    • Birthplace: Ritter, South Carolina, USA
    • Profession: Basketball player
  13. Guy John Velella was a Republican New York State Senator from The Bronx. A political leader, state assemblyman, and state senator for over 30 years, Velella was indicted in 2002 on 25 counts of bribery and conspiracy for allegedly accepting at least $137,000 in exchange for steering public-works ...more

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    • Age: Died at 67 (1944-2011)
    • Birthplace: New York City, Manhattan, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York, + more
    • Profession: Politician
  14. Joe Halderman

    Robert Joel "Joe" Halderman is an American television news writer, director, Emmy nominated producer, and convicted felon.more

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    • Age: 58
    • Birthplace: United States of America
    • Profession: Television producer
    • Credits: 48 Hours, Three Days In September
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