9. Rikers Island Inmates Work on Hart Island
A Department of Corrections bus on Hart Island, which carries Rikers Island inmates to perform burials on the potters field
Located in the western Long Island Sound, Hart Island serves as the City’s last potters field. Since 1869, more than one million people have been buried in what is currently the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world. It was once the site of a women’s insane asylum, as well as a tuberculosis hospital and an overflow facility for Rikers Island, among a number of other uses. Today, however, the island is entirely dedicated to burials, and inmates from Rikers are ferried over on weekdays to perform the internments and other maintenance tasks for $0.50 an hour. Although the Department of Correction had historically prohibited people from accessing the cemetery (with the exception of relatives of the deceased), the team behind the Hart Island Project has worked to open the site to general visitors who can now go to a gazebo viewing area.