george r vierno center

Exploring the George R. Vierno Center: A Closer Look at Rikers Island’s Notorious Jail

In the sprawling metropolis of New York, there exists a place that has gained notoriety over the years, a place where the criminal justice system intersects with the lives of those incarcerated within its walls. The George R. Vierno Center, situated on Rikers Island in East Elmhurst, New York, is not just a correctional facility; it’s a complex institution with a history filled with challenges, controversies, and a constant struggle to maintain order.

A Brief History

The George R. Vierno Center, named after a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, opened its doors in 1991. Initially constructed to house adult male inmates, it has since undergone several expansions. Today, this facility can accommodate up to 1,330 inmates, including adolescents. However, it is important to note that this jail’s history is marred by incidents that have brought it into the public eye.

Riotous Past

In recent years, the George R. Vierno Center has experienced its fair share of unrest. Riots and disturbances have erupted within its walls, shedding light on the challenges faced by both inmates and the facility’s staff. These incidents have raised questions about the conditions and management of the jail, leading to increased scrutiny.

A Cloud of Corruption

In 2014, a departmental investigation sent shockwaves through the George R. Vierno Center when nine officers were charged with various corruption-related offenses. This scandal exposed deep-seated issues within the institution, further tarnishing its reputation.

See also  Downstate Correctional Facility

Visiting the George R. Vierno Center

For families and friends of inmates, visiting their loved ones is a crucial way to maintain a connection. However, visiting the George R. Vierno Center comes with its own set of rules and schedules.

Visitation Schedule

Visiting hours at the George R. Vierno Center are determined by the first letter of the inmate’s last name. Visitors should check the current visiting schedule to find out which days they are eligible to visit. Notably, no visits are allowed on Mondays or Tuesdays. Visitation on Wednesdays and Thursdays is open from 1 pm to 8 pm, with visits concluding at 9 pm. For Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, visiting hours are from 8 am to 4 pm, with registration for visiting taking place between 7 am and 2 pm.

Location and Contact Information

If you plan to visit or have other business with the George R. Vierno Center, it’s essential to know its physical and mailing address, as well as the contact number.

Physical Address

George R. Vierno Center 09-09 Hazen Street East Elmhurst, NY 11370


For inquiries or information, you can contact the George R. Vierno Center at (718)-546-2020.

Inmate Mailing Address

If you need to send mail to an inmate, make sure to format it correctly:

Inmate Name, ID Number George R. Vierno Center 09-09 Hazen Street East Elmhurst, NY 11370


The George R. Vierno Center, located on Rikers Island, has a history that is both intriguing and troubling. With its capacity to house over a thousand inmates and a past marked by riots and corruption, it remains one of the more dangerous correctional facilities in New York. Visitors should adhere to the strict visitation schedule, and those corresponding with inmates must use the correct mailing address.

See also  Adirondack Correctional Facility

For those who wish to learn more or have business with the George R. Vierno Center, it’s essential to stay informed about its policies and procedures. The facility’s history serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by those within its walls and the ongoing efforts to improve the corrections system.


  1. Is the George R. Vierno Center open for visits every day?
    • No, the visiting schedule at the George R. Vierno Center is based on the first letter of the inmate’s last name. Visits do not occur on Mondays or Tuesdays.
  2. What are the visiting hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays?
    • Visiting hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays are from 1 pm to 8 pm, with visits concluding at 9 pm.
  3. How can I contact the George R. Vierno Center for inquiries?
    • You can contact the George R. Vierno Center at (718)-546-2020.
  4. Are there any restrictions on sending mail to inmates at the George R. Vierno Center?
    • It’s essential to format inmate mail correctly by including the inmate’s name and ID number in the address.
  5. What steps have been taken to address the issues of riots and corruption at the George R. Vierno Center?
    • Efforts have been made to address these issues, including investigations and reforms within the correctional system. However, challenges persist, and ongoing improvements are needed.

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