In this shocking memoir from a former corrections officer, Gary Heyward shares an eye-opening, gritty, and devastating account of his descent into criminal life, smuggling contraband inside the infamous Rikers Island jails.
Gary Heyward’s life changed forever when he received a letter from the New York City Department of Corrections announcing he was accepted into the academy for new recruits. For the Harlem-born ex-Marine, being an officer of the law was the ticket he’d been waiting for to move up from a low-wage security job and out of the Polo Ground Projects in New York City—and take his mother with him.
Heyward was warned of the temptations he’d encounter as a new officer, but when faced with financial hardship, he suddenly found himself unable to resist the income generated from selling contraband to inmates. In his distinctive voice, Heyward takes you on a journey inside the walls of Rikers Island, showing how he teamed up with various inmates and other officers to develop a system that allowed him to profit from selling drugs inside the jail.
Corruption Officer is a jarring exposé of a man having lived on both sides of the law, a rare insider’s look at a corrupt city jail, and a testament to the lengths we’ll go when our backs are against the wall.
Gary Heyward was born and raised in New York City’s Polo Ground Projects in Harlem. At the age of nineteen, he joined the United States Marines and became a decorated war veteran by serving in Desert Storm/Desert Shield Operation in 1990–1991. After receiving an honorable discharge he served as a New York City corrections officer, working ten years at Rikers Island. In May of 2006 Gary was arrested and convicted for selling drugs throughout the jail. During his incarceration he developed a passion for writing and penned his memoir, Corruption Officer. He was released in 2008 and currently works for the city of New York.
"A raunchy tell-all and a critical portrayal of Rikers Island."
– New York Times
“Corruption Officer is a page turner. Gary Heyward's words flow from one page to the next. This book is an emotional roller coaster, one the reader will not soon forget. The best book I've read in quite some time.”
– Shannon Holmes, bestselling author of B-More Careful
“Eye-opening page-turner . . . . A brutally-honest confessional exposing the ugly underbelly of an American incarceration system that nobody really wants to take a long, hard look at.”
– Kam Williams, syndicated film and book critic
“A good read . . . . Definitely something you can breeze through in a weekend.”