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NCJ Number: 63265 Find in a Library
Title: ATTICA PRISON RIOT - ITS EFFECT ON PRISON REFORM
Journal: LAE (LAMBDA ALPHA EPSILON) JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ASSOCIATION  Volume:42  Issue:NOS 1 AND 2  Dated:(WINTER/ SPRING 1979)  Pages:89-97
Author(s): K SCHULZ
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: American Criminal Justice Association
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REVIEW OF THE ATTICA PRISON RIOT, OCCURRING IN NEW YORK STATE IN 1971, EXAMINES THE CAUSES OF THE UPRISING, THE NEGOTIATION ATTEMPTS, THE FATEFUL ATTACK, AND FOLLOW-UP INVESTIGATIONS.
Abstract: INMATES REVOLTED AGAINST INHUMAN CONDITIONS, SEIZED 39 OFFICIALS AS HOSTAGES, AND ESTABLISHED THEIR OWN ADMINISTRATION WITHIN THE WALLS. ON SEPTEMBER 13TH, ASSAULT BY STATE TROOPERS RESULTED IN 43 DEATHS AND MANY INJURIES. BECAUSE THE FACILITY WAS THE MOST EXPENSIVE PRISON EVER BUILT AND WAS NOT OVERCROWDED, THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF THE RIOT WAS UNKNOWN; SEVERAL CONFUSED VERSIONS ARE RECOUNTED. PRISONER GRIEVANCES CITED ARE ABUSE OF INMATES BY OFFICIALS, NEGLIGENT HEALTH CARE, PRISONER IDLENESS, HUMILIATING VISITING RESTRICTIONS IN SCREENED FACILITIES, MAIL CENSORSHIP, SUPERFICIAL PAROLE JUDGMENTS WITHOUT RECOURSE, AND LACK OF RESPONSE TO INMATES' PETITIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS. WHEN THE RIOT BROKE OUT, 100 GUARDS WERE IN CHARGE OF 2,254 INMATES. A STEP-BY-STEP ACCOUNT IS GIVEN OF THE PRISON TAKEOVER, THE CAPTURE OF HOSTAGES, AND SUBSEQUENT NEGOTIATIONS WHICH SNAGGED ON THE DEMAND FOR AMNESTY. THE GOVERNOR'S FAILURE TO BECOME INVOLVED PERSONALLY IS ANALYZED AT LENGTH AND COMPARED WITH A SIMILAR EVENT IN NEW JERSEY, WHERE TRAGEDY WAS FORESTALLED BY THE GOVERNOR'S PERSONAL INTERVENTION. THE ARMED ATTACK BY STATE TROOPERS LED TO THE DEPLORABLE DEATHS OF BOTH INMATES AND HOSTAGES. PUBLIC CONFUSION IN THE AFTERMATH IS SUMMARIZED, INCLUDING ALLEGATIONS OF RACISM BY THE BLACK MINORITY; LIBERAL DENUNCIATIONS OF THE ENTIRE PRISON SYSTEM; AND A GENERAL BELIEF THAT THE ATTACK WAS BOTH LEGALLY AND MORALLY JUSTIFIED. THE MCKAY COMMISSION WHICH INVESTIGATED THE EVENT CONCLUDED THAT THE UPRISING WAS NOT PLANNED IN ADVANCE BUT AROSE OUT OF A MINOR MISUNDERSTANDING AND UNDERLYING GRIEVANCES. THEY FOUND THE STATE'S ACTIONS TO BE NEGLIGENT AND INCOMPETENT AND CONDEMNED THE LACK OF PROTECTION PROVIDED INMATES AGAINST STAFF REPRISALS. THE COMMISSION FOUND THAT INMATES CONDUCTED THE RIOT OUT OF AN URGENT NEED FOR REFORM. CURRENTLY, ATTICA SUFFERS FROM THE SAME PROBLEMS THAT LED TO THE RIOT, AS WELL AS ADDITIONAL CONFLICTS. THE APPENDIX CONTAINS NEGOTIATION PROPOSALS REJECTED BY THE PRISONERS AND REFERENCES. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional Officers; Correctional reform; Inmate grievances; Inmate staff relations; New York; Prison disorders; Riot control
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63265

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