Author Exposes the Systematic Racism in Rikers Island

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Author’s advocacy for social change, detailed in his new book

I was not hired to make a positive impact. It is only intended that I do my job having the clients sign treatment plans on time and see that they remained medicated

Working in the largest correctional facility in the world, author and Mental Health Clinician Evan Baker’s task is to administer psychotherapy to those incarcerated. However, in the course of his duty, he has witnessed the hypocrisy of his agency’s intention, as well as his role as a social worker. In his book, Rikers Island, he attempts to create change through awareness of a human crisis that is understood in less than humane terms.

“I was not hired to make a positive impact. It is only intended that I do my job having the clients sign treatment plans on time and see that they remained medicated,” says Baker as he recalls an incident of institutional racism that he has encountered in the workplace. This inspired him to address the issues of systemic racism, starting with this book.

Through a case study approach, Baker implements the Art of War as a tool in understanding the conditions which allow prisoners to overcome the largest jail in the world. Rikers Island allows the reader to understand the individual incarcerated from a more human perspective, advocating education as a tool for empowering a jail population that is ninety-eight percent Black and Hispanic.

A true social worker, Baker encourages the rest of his peers to go beyond their job description and start acting as agents for social change. Through this book, he invites everyone to join him in this advocacy. For more information on Rikers Island, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Evan Baker works in Rikers Island as a Mental Health Clinician administering psychotherapy to those incarcerated. He earned his Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University and holds his license in Social Work in the State of New York. Baker himself struggled with homelessness, unemployment and welfare while achieving his credentials in academia. He has since stridden toward tackling the problems of racism and class discrimination that affect those persons struggling with poverty. In this way, his own life story is an inspiration to many who seek to overcome poverty, unemployment and addiction. His connection to the population he serves is established through the experience of being amongst this important and oftentimes misunderstood group.

RIKERS ISLAND * by Evan Baker
Theories of Racism
Publication Date: March 22, 2010
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 183     pages; 978-1-4415-6960-8
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 183 pages; 978-1-4415-6961-5

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

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