In all honesty, I started watching this on the suspicion that it may have been the source of comedian Chris Rock's 'Salad-Tossin' Man' routine. It wasn't, but I'm certainly glad I saw it anyway. This is a fairly frank (if somewhat dated now) look at prisoners' life within the prison system on Riker's Island in New York. It tries in an hour and a half to cover the various buildings and prisoner-groups housed across the island. At times the narrative is a little choppy and the camera work is entirely freehand. In spite of this, we are given chilling insight into the truly awful conditions in which these people live. Sprinkled throughout the film footage are numerous startling facts and statistics dealing both with Riker's in specific and the American prison system in general. Many of the inmates on Riker's, as we see here, are charged but not yet convicted, some are mentally ill, MANY are drug addicts in dire need of rehabilitation more than incarceration, some of the women are pregnant and give birth in the prison (there were, at the time of filming, twice as many births as deaths on Riker's) and most are very poor. If nothing else, this is yet another indictment of both the American prison system and the American economic system, both of which conspire to keep poor, uneducated people poor and uneducated...and in prison. Though at writing this film is a decade and a half old, this writer doesn't imagine things on Riker's have changed, save for the worse. This documentary remains vital, poignant and moving. Certainly, this is recommended viewing, but not for the weak of heart.