History of Attica

The nation's most dangerous prison riot took place at the Attica Correctional Facility in Western New York on September 9, 1971. The riot lasted 4 days and half of the inmates from Attica's prison rioted and seized control of the prison. The death of an African American activist got killed at another prison, which stirred up a lot of controversy at Attica, causing some inmates to begin rioting. Some of the inmates were not happy with the poor living conditions at Attica either.

The prisoners rioted the facility, beating up guards with makeshift weapons, they also burned down the prison chapel. One guard was even beaten and thrown out a second-story window. He died in the hospital 2 days later from the injuries. The inmates took control of D-yard, the central control room, and two tunnels. The prisoners took 42 officers and civilians hostage.

The Attica inmates compiled a list of demands that was written directly to "sincere people of society". The 27 demands included, better medical treatment, better meals, fair visitation rights, and to stop physical brutality. The negotiations and communications were done by Russell G. Oswald, the Correctional Services Commissioner. The governor wouldn't come to Attica to listen to the prisoner's list of demands. Mr. Oswald begged the Governor, but Mr. Oswald said he was going to order the police to retake the facility by force. The Governor agreed with Mr. Oswald's decision.

It took the National Guard, prison guards, and state and local police to end the riot using tear gas. 39 men had died from the aftermath. The riot may have ended at Attica, but the violence didn't. Prisoners were beaten and tortured by prison guards, which caused prisoners to rebel nationwide. It didn't take long for the U.S. Supreme Court to reform the constitutional rights for fair treatment of all civilians, even prisoners.

The aftermath of the Attica riots closed with multimillion dollar settlements split between clients who were...