May 17th, 2011
07:00 PM ET

IMF head held in virtual isolation on Rikers Island

New York (CNN) - One hour of recreation a day. Veal patties and noodles for dinner. New York's well-known Rikers Island jail complex has been featured in films, television shows and documentaries, but life on the other side of the bars appears less than glamorous.

A number of well-known or infamous inmates have been at least briefly incarcerated there, from the late Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious to, more recently, former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress and rapper Lil' Wayne. However, many celebrities find the facilities in the Rikers Island complex a far cry from the surroundings they may be used to.

International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the latest well-known inmate at Rikers Island. He was transferred there on Monday after a Manhattan Criminal Court judge refused to grant him bail. Strauss-Kahn faces multiple charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a housekeeping employee at New York's Sofitel hotel.

Rikers Island, actually a complex of 10 different units located in the New York borough of Queens, dates to the 1930s, when the first facility - the James A. Thomas Center, formerly known as the Rikers Island Penitentiary - opened, according to the New York Department of Correction.

Once a 90-acre site, Rikers Island was enlarged to more than 400 acres using sanitary landfill, according to the department's website. It is an actual island, accessible only by a bridge from Queens, and its jails have a combined capacity of nearly 17,000 inmates.

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  1. Cindy

    Maria is a strong lady with a voice. As someone who just divorced a narcissist after having an affair, I really hope she doesn't stay quiet about it, even for the kid's sake. As Dr. Drew stated...children need to know this behavior is not ok. So many women are living with a narcissist and don't have a name for it and blaming themselves. Narcissists pick strong partners to "learn" from them. Victims who get away from the abuse have trouble with future relationships, finding it hard to trust, and thinking everyone is playing games. Speak out, please, Maria....

    May 18, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  2. Penny

    Arnold Schwarzenegger should be ashame the humiliation his wife and children are going to go through since he couldn't control himself and the lady that had the affair could have said no, if you lose your job go find another and yes I have been propositoned from married men and I have no problems putting them on blast in front of everyone!! Say No!!

    May 17, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  3. Penny

    All these powerful men think they are entitled to use and abuse the common person seems like they always pick on the lowly maid/housekeepers sick!!

    May 17, 2011 at 11:43 pm |