From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison in Ossining, New York, USA. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of New York City on the banks of the Hudson River. The name comes from the town of Ossining's original name of "Sing Sing", though the penitentiary was first called "Mount Pleasant" when it opened in 1828.
In popular culture
- Gangster movies helped make the prison a legend far beyond New York; they included The Big House, Castle on the Hudson, and 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, the latter based on a book by Lewis Lawes.
- In the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly (played by Audrey Hepburn) regularly visits Sally Tomato at Sing Sing.
- In the 1997 book, author and journalist Ted Conover became a New York State correctional officer because he found it the only way he could write about being one. He was assigned to Sing Sing and worked there for about ten months. The resulting book, Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing (UK title: Holding the Key), was published in 2000 to critical acclaim.
- In the The Producers film, features a large dance number in Sing Sing as characters Leo and Max teach the inmates how to sing and dance.
- The prison is mentioned and frequently visited by the characters of the Law and Order: SVU series.