There is a new film on Rikers, called Rikers: An American Jail, and I'm quoted in the interfaith discussion guide.

As a Muslim, when I hear about prison, I think to the Story of Joseph, told in Chapter 12 of the Qur’an: are we punishing difference, rather than actions, and putting the innocent in jail? Do we seek to turn people to repentance, or are we fulfilling our needs for revenge? One of the clear commandments in the Qur’an is to maintain the balance of justice, and to not give into our own desires and call it justice (55:9, 4:135). We are warned that we can easily corrupt society in the name of public good (2:11). The Qur’an seems to be warning us against our prison industrial complex, exemplified by Rikers Island Jail.